In January, the European Commission published its plastics strategy. Its vision is to contribute to a new plastics economy, where the design and production of plastic products fully respect reuse, repair and recycling needs and more sustainable materials are developed and promoted.

Some key figures are worth mentioning:

  • Global production of plastics has increased twentyfold since the 1960s, reaching 322 million tons in 2015. It is expected to double again over the next 20 years.
  • In the EU, the plastics sector employs 1.5 million people and generated a turnover of EUR 340 billion in 2015.

Among other initiatives, the EC Plastics strategy foresees:

  • Preparatory work for future revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive: EC to initiate work on new harmonized rules to ensure that by 2030 all plastics packaging placed on the EU market can be reused or recycled in a cost-effective manner (Q1).
  • To improve the traceability of chemicals & address the issue of legacy substances in recycled streams (Q1).
  • To continue the process to restrict the intentional addition of microplastics to products via REACH (ongoing).

For further information, please read the plastics strategy’s documents.