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11. November 2020

The EU Circular Economy Package and Plastics Strategy

Very few policy initiatives in the last few years have received as much public attention as the recently adopted Single-Use Plastics Directive – also known as the single-use plastics ban. This legal act, however, is only one piece of the puzzle with which the European Union is attempting to curb plastic littering and transform the European economy into a circular one. The following article gives an overview on the EU Circular Economy Package and Plastics Strategy and explains what they mean for bio-based plastics.

L. Dammer, M. Carus

The EU Plastics Strategy is part of the EU Circular Economy Package.The EU Plastics Strategy is part of the EU Circular Economy Package.

In the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) 54 actions are outlined that are supposed to pave the way for “the transition to a more circular economy, where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation of waste minimized.” Out of the 54 actions, this article will focus on a few selected ones that have the most impact on plastics as well as on biomass and bio-based products, which are both priority areas in the CEAP. A priority area is a sector that faces specific challenges in the context of the circular economy, because of the specificities of their products or value-chains, their environmental footprint or dependency on materials from outside Europe.

Regarding plastics, the CEAP envisaged adopting a Plastics Strategy, taking action to fulfil the objective of significantly reducing marine litter, revising the Directive on port reception facilities to address the issue of marine litter from ships and proposing more ambitious recycling targets in the revised legislative proposals on waste. Regarding biomass and bio-based products, the Commission set out to identify and share the best practice of cascading use of wood, include increased recycling rates of wood packaging waste in the revised legislative proposals on waste, examine the sustainability of bioenergy under the Energy Union to promote synergies with the circular economy and to fund research on innovative bio-based products and materials that can support circular economy.

L. Dammer, M. Carus, RFP Rubber Fibres Plastics, 04 2020, 182-184.


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