Environmental impact of products: PlasticsEurope, an “example to follow” says the European Commission

Brussels (23 May 2011): The Joint Research Center (JRC), the European Commission’s reference centre of science and technology, has officially recognised PlasticsEurope as a reliable, accurate and trend-setting organisation in the field of product life cycle assessment. In the closing speech of the special conference on this topic – in which PlasticsEurope was invited to participate – DG Environment’s Michele Galatola mentioned the plastics industry as an example for other industries to follow. Not only did he acknowledge us as a "front-running industry in using Life Cycle Assessment” and got us involved in the JRC’s ILCD handbook, but our latest eco-profiles will be referenced on a brand new ILCD website due to be online by the end of the year.

LCA is a tool of growing importance for policy support and it stands as the only viable solution to evaluate a product’s green features. With a growing understanding of this reality among EU institutions, Commissioner Janez Potočnik launched the ILCD (International Reference Life Cycle Data System) handbook in 2010. This document provides guidance on how to collect LCI data and how to conduct the LCA of a product, not solely by quantifying its production-related CO2 emissions but also by taking into account the resources used and burdens on the environment and human health from the extraction of raw materials to the end of life.

Being an early-starter in the development of LCI datasets, a data supplier to the Commission’s EPLCA website and a member of the ILCD’s business advisory group, PlasticsEurope had the opportunity to provide the JRC with its almost 20-year experience in the field of LCA and to demonstrate the robustness of its constantly-improved methodology. In parallel, our LCI (Life Cycle Inventories) web pages have undergone a major revision and can now be viewed on:

www.plasticseurope.org/plastics-sustainability/eco-profiles.aspx
 
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