Environmental consultancy Eunomia has been appointed alongside partners ICF to help develop the evidence base for the European Commission’s upcoming Plastics Strategy.
The new research aims to look at ways to improve plastic recycling rates and reduce the industry’s reliance on virgin materials. There is also growing concern about the 12.2m tonnes of plastic entering the marine environment annually, and what harmful effects discarded plastics are having on communities and ecosystems.
The research will be used to inform the European Commission’s Plastic Strategy expected at the end of 2017.
“The prevalence of littered plastic, and the relatively low levels at which many plastics are recycled, suggests that more needs to be done to effectively tackle these problems.”
Eunomia’s consultants are engaging, and will continue to engage, with a variety of stakeholders over the course of the project.
The aim will be to highlight the obstacles to achieving the key objectives of the strategy, and to identify measures which help drive the plastics economy in a more circular manner by fostering prevention of some plastic wastes, improved design to foster recycling and reuse, and increasing recycling performance.
As part of the project, European institutions, public authorities, industry, social enterprise groups, environmental civil society organisations, and resource communities are being invited to a conference called ‘Reinventing Plastics – Closing the Circle’ on 26th September 2017 to discuss the issues, challenges, and opportunities that will feature in the new strategy. Those interested in attending should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tim Elliott, Technical Manager of the project at Eunomia, commented: “It is clear that plastics have a very broad range of applications. The use of the material has increased rapidly and is continuing to grow. However, more could be done to ensure the material is used responsibly, and managed effectively at the end of its first life.
“The push for additional action comes as the evidence mounts regarding the negative effects of plastic entering our natural environment, resulting in harm to wildlife. The prevalence of littered plastic, and the relatively low levels at which many plastics are recycled, suggests that more needs to be done to effectively tackle these problems.”