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The Plastics Strategy Still Has Room for Improvement

Thursday, July 5, 2018 – In light of the ENVI Committee’s upcoming vote on the Plastics Strategy on July 10, FEAD, the EU private waste and resource management industry, welcomes MEP Mark Demesmaeker’s draft own-initiative report. However, FEAD would like to highlight crucial points that need to be touched upon in order for the Plastics Strategy to be fully effective.
Transforming the vision of a new plastics economy into reality will require joined efforts throughout the entire plastics value chain. Plastic products need to be designed for recycling; this will not only improve the economics, but also the quality of plastics recycling.
Up to € 10 billion worth of investments will be needed to innovate and expand the separate collection, sorting and recycling capacity at EU level. Our industry is prepared to make the necessary investments if there are legislative measures ensuring a significant uptake of plastic recyclates; which is becoming even more necessary by the minute in view of the Chinese ban on imports of certain waste streams.
A strong demand for recycled plastics will only result from concrete binding actions accompanied by economic measures to bridge the price gap detrimental to plastics from recyclates. FEAD members welcome the amendments calling for mandatory rules on recycled content which will stimulate the demand for secondary materials and therefore help drive the necessary investment in collection, sorting and recycling. From this perspective, FEAD supports the idea of a reduced VAT for products with recycled content, which will allow recycled plastics to compete with virgin polymers.
Quality standards, as an additional tool to further build trust and demand for the use of recycled plastics, should only be introduced in parallel with binding recycled content measures. This would ensure that investments for achieving higher quality standards will be economically justified.
Ultimately, accelerating work on the interface between chemicals, waste and product policies is necessary to build confidence in recycled plastics in view of manufacturers’ needs for reliable quality and supply. Moreover, design for recycling and better-quality information on the presence of substances of concern will optimise the work of waste operators and ensure safe recycling.
For further information please find attached a more detailed report and/or please contact the FEAD Secretariat at


Note to the editor:
FEAD is the European Federation representing the European waste management industry. FEAD’s members are national waste management associations covering 19 Member States, Norway and Serbia. They have an approximate 60% share in the household waste market and handle more than 75% of industrial and commercial waste in Europe. Their combined annual turnover is approximately € 75 billion. FEAD represents about 3000 companies with activities in all forms of waste management. These companies employ over 320000 people who operate around 2400 recycling and sorting centres, 1100 composting sites, 260 waste-to-energy plants and 900 controlled landfills. They play an important role in the determination of the best environmental option for waste management problems.


International Commission of Jurists - European Institutions
MENA Advocacy and Research Officer
ECCO - The European Consulting Company
Food Science & Regulatory Associate
IHI - Innovative Health Initiative
Scientific Project Officer
Project Manager
EUI - European University Institute
Director of the Communications Service
LP Brussels
Association Manager