Plastic waste and recycling in the EU:
In Europe, energy recovery is the most common way to dispose of plastic waste, followed by recycling. About 25 percent of all plastic waste produced is landfilled.
In June 2019, the EU adopted new rules to tackle the problem of plastic marine litter, introducing a series of measures covering the top 10 single-use plastics found on European beaches and fishing equipment. It includes a target for 25% recycled content in plastic bottles by 2025 and 30% by 2030.
In November 2022, the Commission proposed new EU rules on packaging. It includes proposals to improve packaging design, such as clear labelling, to promote reuse and recycling, and calls for a transition to organic, biodegradable and compostable plastics.
As part of the Green Deal, 55 percent of plastic packaging waste must be recycled by 2030. This would imply better design for recyclability, but MEPs believe that measures are also needed to stimulate the recycled plastic market.
These measures include:
• creating quality standards for recycled plastic,
• promoting certification for recycled plastics to increase confidence among both industry and consumers,
• Introducing binding rules for minimum recycled raw material in certain products
• encouraging Member States to increase VAT on recycled products
In January 2023, Parliament voted on its position on waste transport rules, which should encourage reuse and recycling and reduce pollution.