15 European countries and 66 companies have come together under the Europe Plastics Pact to agree that not some, not a lot, but all plastic packaging must be made recyclable or otherwise reusable in Europe in the next five years, of other objectives. This pact will be presented in Brussels today by the Dutch Minister for the Environment and Housing, Stientje van Veldhoven.
The idea blossomed a year ago during the meeting of environmental ministers in Brussels, when van Veldhoven came together with her French and Danish colleagues.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
According to the nos, Europe produced approximately 65 million tons of plastic, of which 40% was used for packaging. Shockingly only 30% of these products are currently being recycled in Europe. Furthermore, all plastics end up in a large heap, making it problematic to sort through.
The European Plastics Pact has four elements that the signatories are committed to achieving by 2025: making plastic fully recyclable or otherwise reusable, reducing unnecessary plastic and plastic made using petroleum by a minimum of 20%, improving the sorting and recycling capacity of current plastic by 25% and using a minimum of 30% recycled plastic in new packaging and products.
According to van Veldhoven, ‘if we want to achieve the Paris climate goals, we must look at clean raw materials as well as clean energy. I think we should be able to reuse every little bit of plastic in the future and keep it out of our oceans and environment . . . I am proud that we are taking the first steps here today.’
How might plastic be reduced by supermarkets? Let us know in the comments!
Feature image: Abuzer van Leeuwen/supplied