Zero plastics to landfill

At the end of their service life, plastics are still much too valuable a resource to be simply thrown away. They can be recycled back into their original forms or a new article and where this is not possible used for energy recovery as a substitute for virgin fossil fuels. In fact, exploiting the full potential of plastics recycling and recovery options and applying today’s best practices and technologies in an eco-efficient* manner could:

  • save natural resources equivalent to 25% of France’s annual oil consumption
  • reduce CO2 emissions by 9 million tonnes/year in Europe.

Whilst approximately one-third of the world already achieve over 80% plastics recycling and recovery many fall way below this and in some cases do not even achieve the targets required in waste legislation.

Since the early 1990s the association of European Plastics manufacturers has been committed and prepared to contribute to the enhancement of plastics waste management schemes. Today, we call for a landfill ban of all recyclable and recoverable post-consumer waste by 2025 and the establishment of recovery-oriented collection schemes. These will need to be aligned with modern sorting infrastructure and improved recycling and recovery in order exploit the fullest potential of this precious resource. Furthermore with a focus on high quality and market standards this will stimulate markets for the more resource efficient use of end-of-life plastics throughout Europe.

Our actions are based on:

  • Specific know-how and expertise compiled via studies and thorough evaluations of practices in high-performing member states, 
  • An open dialogue with all relevant stakeholders 
  • Analysis of data on amounts of plastics waste, recycling and recovery in Europe regularly compiled and made available to the broader public

* The eco-efficiency of a product or service describes its societal, environmental as well as its economic performance

Response to the Green Paper on Plastic Waste in the Environment - 7 June 2013

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Related information

IdentiPlast 2013

Plastics: Too valuable to be thrown away - Recovery, recycling and resource conservation 

Download the PDF here or watch the video:

PlasticsEurope's interview about "Zero Plastics to Landfill by 2020: A clear target"