Plastics Case Studies
effective Policy Package: synergetic relationships
The Plastics Policy Package
Ban landfilling PVC by 2022.
Ban landfilling plastics by 2024.
Adjust public procurement criteria to promote the preference for products using recycled plastics (today partially requesting new materials).
Ban landfilling plastic bottles by 2023.
Address one-use plastic cups sold as retail articles via EPR or ban.
Improve practical implementable/enforceable Essential Requirements for Packaging leading to improved Ecodesign standards for business (e.g. limiting use of flexible packaging, no overpacking and avoiding unnecessary packaging, recycling content of the material in new packaging, restricting range of plastic types used in packaging).
Promote material quality standards for recycled plastics (give mandate to CEN-The European Committee for Standardization).
Address high quantity low value plastic products (disposable lighters, razors, plastic pens, coffee pods etc.) via EPR or ban.
Oblige restaurants and cafes offering take away to offer drinks and food to impose deposit charge if SUP used.
Advocate technologies such as tracer-based sorting (e.g. Polysecure) or full surface detection barcode solutions (e.g. Digimarc) that support more precise sorting to obtain pure plastic fractions for a more effective and robust recycling process, resulting in segregated fractions of PET, PP, LDPE etc.
Restrict packaging with multilayer plastics / multimaterial in some applications (e.g. in food packaging only for aesthetic reasons).
Extend the marking for single-use plastics to other forms of plastic.
Create easy to understand labelling e.g. traffic lights based on harmonised standards; and differentiate between bio-based and natural fibre containing plastics from the rest, due to the issue of mixing them in the recycling process.
Ban Expanded Polystyrene Foam (Styrofoam) use for packaging.
Limit or ban plastic waste transfers outside of EU.
Create quality standards for plastic and waste plastic (e.g. fraction
purity), especially with regard to export.
Promote competition in the EPR/recycling market by avoiding market barriers such as allowing for public and private enterprises competing, assuring fair and neutral permit processes, requesting setup of a governance body and clearing house (such as “body independent of private interests” as defined in WFD Article 8a but in all countries not limiting to countries with “multiple schemes”, avoiding the accumulation of excessive reserves in non-for profit setups).
Restrict production of virgin dark plastic for cases where recyclate + pigment does not allow the same functionality as with a virgin material (plastic recyclate becomes increasingly darker with number of recycling cycles it undergoes; hence little requirement for virgin material to obtain dark plastic, addition of pigment recyclate ought to suffice).
Develop appropriate disposal information and awareness-raising for consumers.
Restrict product containers below certain size (small containers for butter, honey, shampoo, etc. found especially at hotels).
Restrict or ban the use of intentionally added microplastics altogether.
Create EPR for plastic fishing gear.
Create EPR for polymer-based carpets.
Create EPR for polymer-based textiles.
Create EPR for plastic flooring (e.g. Laminate & PVC).
Introduce segregation of bio-based plastics and then include them into GPP criteria, too — we need to have segregation of bio-based plastics to have two streams (fossil-based and bio-based plastics) to be able to produce quality recycled plastics (fossil-based or bio-based) and both should be allowed into GPP criteria. The technological progress shouldbbe also reviewed, regularly (ancillary measure to #60).
Review regularly and enforce existing policy (ancillary measure to #39, #9, #7a, #7b, #5, #2, #3, #51, #15, #33, #64).
Assess product packages in Styrofoam and alternatives (to be addressed by packaging essential requirements) (ancillary measure to #45).
Penalise loss of fishing gear (ancillary measure to #66).