Logo Rijksoverheid

Mastering the use of plastics in a circular economy

Reducing our plastic waste, use less plastics for products and recycle and reuse more. That is what 15 governments and 66 companies and organisations signed up for today, by launching the European Plastics Pact. A public-private coalition that wants to achieve a truly circular European plastics economy by avoiding plastic waste and bringing all actors in the value chain together. Because we owe it to next generations to leave this earth healthier and cleaner than it is now.

Participants of the European Plastics Pact commit themselves by 2025 to:

  • Reusability and recyclability:
    Design all plastic packaging and single-use plastic products placed on the market to be reusable where possible and in any case recyclable by 2025;
  • Responsible use of plastics:
    Move towards a more responsible use of plastic packaging and single-use plastic products, aiming to reduce 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;
  • Collection, sorting and recycling:
    Increase the collection, sorting and recycling capacity by at least 25 percentage points by 2025 and reach a level that corresponds to market demand for recycled plastics;
  • Use of recycled plastics:
    Increase the use of recycled plastics in new products and packaging by 2025, with plastics using companies achieving an average of at least 30% recycled plastics (by weight) in their product and packaging range.

Participating in the pact is voluntary, but signing is not without obligation. Progress will be monitored and reported each year by all signatories. A Secretariat will keep track of the results. Today the first working groups will start to set up monitoring and reporting, and discuss reduce and reuse models, design for circularity, waste shipment, food contact applications and steering the supply chain.

Please download the Press Statement European Plastics Pact here.

Stientje van Veldhoven, Dutch Minister for Environment and Housing

“It’s time to change the game. If we want to tackle climate change, we need to look beyond energy to materials. We have to start treating plastic as the valuable raw material it is and keep it out of our oceans. We strive to reuse all plastic in the future. From your daily chocolate bar wrapper to the shampoo bottle and everything in between. This is no easy task. We need the chemical industry to develop easily recyclable plastic. We need more recycling capacity and we need new product design. I am proud that today, with all these frontrunners, we are putting together our efforts to make this work.”

Brune Poirson, French junior Minister for Ecological and inclusive transition

“By passing the circular economy anti-waste act, France has set an end date for the application of all single-use plastic packaging in its law. This huge step requires changing production and consumption patterns within the next 20 years. Being the frontrunners of this European Plastics pact, we set the tone for all the public policies that it wants to see implemented shortly within the European Union.”

Lea Wermelin, Danish Minister for Environment

“The European Plastics Pact is a unique opportunity for governments and businesses to work together for a greener future. Plastics is a valuable material and it is time that we should treat it as such; by reducing, reusing and recycling much more than today. We also have to remember that this is a climate change agenda. We need to stop incinerating plastics and curb the resulting emissions. It is my sincere hope and belief, that the European plastics pact can improve our climate footprint and prevent plastics from ending up in nature.”

“The European Plastics Pact is a major step towards creating a circular economy for plastic, and the first supranational initiative to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global network of Plastics Pacts. We applaud the leadership shown by the Dutch, French, and Danish governments to develop this ambitious plan, joining forces with governments and businesses across Europe to eliminate the plastics we don’t need and innovate, so the plastics we need can be circulated in the economy and kept out of the environment.”

For more information

www.europeanplasticspact.org