While the official launch of the new European Plastics Pact is not until March 6, the first participants are already announcing their commitment to the initiative. Aimed at accelerating the shift towards the reuse and recycling of single-use plastic products and packaging, the Pact will set ambitious common objectives and encourage cooperation, innovation and harmonisation at the European level.
While a handful of countries - including the UK, France, the Netherlands, South Africa, Portugal and Chile - had previously joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's global Plastics Pact network of national and regional initiatives, the European Plastics Pact is the first such platform to transcend national boundaries. Based on the ideas formulated in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy, the Pact is the result of the collaborative efforts of over eighty organisations from across Europe who are working towards a European circular plastics economy.
As of March 6, signatories will commit to cooperate on design, responsible use, recycling capacity and the use of recycled items. Among others, they will aim to design all plastic packaging and single-use plastic products placed on the market to be reusable where possible - and recyclable by 2025. A more responsible use of plastics will be achieved, in concrete terms, through the reduction of the use of virgin plastic products and packaging by at least 20% (by weight) by 2025, with half of this reduction coming from an absolute reduction in plastics. The Pact also calls for increasing the collection, sorting and recycling capacity by at least 25% by 2025, as well as to increase the use of recycled plastics in new products and packaging by 2025. Plastics user companies must strive for an average of at least 30% recycled plastics (by weight) in their product and packaging range.
One early participant is Norner, a global provider of industrial polymer R&D services based in Norway. The company operates an advanced technology centre for development and testing and is joining the Pact as a Supporting Organisation.
Under the terms of the Pact, Supporting Organisations undertake to support participants in implementing the European Plastics Pact; engage frontrunners within their own networks to participate in the Pact; actively share knowledge with the signatories, within their own networks and with the public; and lastly, to participate in the Annual Meeting and Working Groups organized under the European Plastics Pact.
“Norner will support the implementation of the European Plastics Pact by our decades of industrial experience and scientific support to the entire value chain and all stages of the plastics life cycle: production, conversion, distribution, use and waste management,” said director of Sustainable Development, Thor Kamfjord.
Norner will be present at the launch of the Pact in Brussels on March 6.