The IK German Association for Plastics Packaging and Films has responded today with blistering criticism to the launch of the new European Plastics Pact, characterizing it as pure ‘actionism, raising false expectations and thus doing more harm than good to the recycling industry’.
"Ambitious targets for the recycling of plastics are to be welcomed in principle as long as they do not threaten the development of a high-quality recycling industry through unrealistic assumptions and actionism," said Isabell Schmidt, IK managing director for circular economy.
Echoing the comments of the EuPC, the IK said the Pact remained ‘disappointingly vague on the real levers such as the landfill ban’.
The association is critical about the recycling targets for the year 2025, set by the partnership of public and private organisations initiated by France, the Netherlands and Denmark. Among others, it considers the Pact's target of 30 percent of plastic packaging consisting of recycled materials by 2025 to be unrealistic, as it ignores the fact that food packaging represents almost 45 percent of plastic packaging in Germany. Current regulations only allow recyclates from the separately collected PET beverage bottle stream for food contact applications.
Moreover, the EU has already formulated tangible recycling targets in its plastics strategy – targets which are being pursued by the Circular Plastics Alliance. Also, Germany’s new packaging law is already showing the first results.
"Instead of further goals, we need a courageous and energetic design of the framework conditions,” said Schmidt. She points to the need for better collection schemes, enforcement of the EU-wide landfill ban and a pan-European bottle deposit system.
Scathingly, the IK noted that ‘France, of all countries, which is currently trying to give itself a green touch by taking a lot of action against disposable plastic products, still landfills around a third of its plastic waste instead of recycling it’.
The IK is disappointed that Germany has signed the EU Plastics Pact. The IK expects politicians in Germany to play an active role in shaping the demanding tasks on the way to a high-quality recycling economy at the European level. The Circular Economy will only succeed as a pan-European project. For the IK, actionism is not part of it.