PlasticsEurope hails European Parliament’s call for a ban on landfill

Will PlasticsEurope’s call for a ban on landfill in Europe by 2020 be echoed by EU authorities? Whilst there is still a long way to go, the European Parliament made an important step in this direction today. The ENVI Committee today has given green light to aim for a ban on landfilling of waste in Europe by adopting a report of MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbandy on the Resource Efficiency Roadmap.

"This proposal is really encouraging”, said Jan-Erik Johansson, Programme Director for resource efficiency at PlasticsEurope. "We believe that a landfill ban is key to managing waste as a resource. Every year 10 million tons of plastics are still buried in landfills in Europe. These plastics could provide a resource for recycling and energy recovery and stimulate the creation of thousands of new jobs.”

About the restriction on the use of Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities, Johansson added: "We support the phasing out of EfW for plastics that are economically and environmentally beneficial to recycle. However, this waste management option should still be favoured for items whose treatment in energy recovery plants is more sustainable”.

In May 2011, PlasticsEurope called on policy makers to promote and enforce zero landfill of plastics by 2020. Seven EU Member States plus Norway and Switzerland already landfill less than 10% plastics waste. However, 15 EU Member States still landfill more than 60% of their end-of-life plastics. This is a result of poor enforcement of existing European legislation and landfilling still being the cheapest waste management option in many Member States.

In parallel, the association representing European plastic manufacturers has been instrumental in launching initiatives to improve waste management practices in the UK, Poland, France and Spain. Its key focuses are increased consumer awareness and a share of best waste management practices.

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