5. 6. 2018

FEAD Press Release: Single-Use Plastics Directive Proposal - a missed opportunity to ensure growth in the consumption of recycled plastics?

The European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD) welcomes the Commission's publication this week of a proposal on single-use plastics aimed at reducing their environmental impact1.

Our industry sees this as another step towards a more circular economy. The private waste and materials management industry plays a key role in making progress in this direction through its activities of collecting, sorting, processing waste and ultimately producing high quality recycled materials and green energy for European manufacturers and consumers. However, even stronger leadership is needed from EU leaders to get the right legal framework and market signals in place. The necessary investments in building a circular economy, creating new jobs in Europe while making our economy more resilient and efficient, will only be delivered by companies if there is sufficient economic visibility.

 FEAD members therefore deeply regret that the legislative proposal did not include a commitment to legally binding proposals for recycled materials in selected products.

 FEAD President Jean-Marc Boursier: "At EU level, major investments will be needed to innovate and expand the capacity for separate waste collection, sorting and recycling (four times the 2015 level, according to Commission estimates). Our industry is ready to make the necessary investments if there are legislative measures in place to ensure the economic visibility of a significant collection of recycled plastics. Most new 'green' markets need strong support to get off the ground and plastics recycling is no exception."

Strong demand for recycled plastics will only be created if there are specific binding rules accompanied by economic measures to bridge the price gap that is damaging the sales of recycled plastics. Increasing the collection of plastic bottles through a bottle deposit scheme or extended producer responsibility (ERP) is very important, but will not be enough to create a solid European demand for recycled materials.

We therefore urge EU leaders to set out in the final version of the adopted directive the expectation that the Commission will present a proposal by 2025 for a mandatory amount of recycled material in selected products.

 For further information, please contact the FEAD Secretariat:


1 Proposal for a Directive to reduce the environmental impact of selected plastic products

FEAD is the European Federation for Waste Management and Environmental Services. FEAD's members are national waste management associations from 19 EU Member States, Norway and Serbia. They have approximately 60% of the household waste market share and treat more than 75% of industrial and commercial waste in Europe. FEAD represents about 3000 companies with activities in all forms of waste management. These companies employ more than 32 0000 people, operating approximately 2400 recycling and sorting centres, 1100 composting plants, 260 waste incineration plants and 900 managed landfills. They play an important role in finding better environmental solutions to waste management problems.