The European Plastics Pact has become the first regional industry group to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Plastics Pact network.
Launched last week in Brussels, the Plastics Pact brings together governments and businesses within the European Economic Area to work toward a common vision for a circular economy for plastic, in which plastics never become waste or pollution.
The pact was initiated by the French Ministry of the Ecological and Solidary Transition, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, and the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food, in consultation with more than 80 organizations from across Europe, and with the support of Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP).
The 81 members of the European Plastics Pact have committed to a set of ambitious 2025 targets. They include making all plastic packaging and single-use plastic products reusable where possible, and in all cases recyclable, and reducing the need for virgin plastic products and packaging by at least 20 percent.
In addition, they are committed to increasing the collection, sorting and recycling capacity of all plastics used in packaging and single-use products in participating countries by at least 25 percent, and boosting the use of recycled plastics as much as possible, with an average of at least 30 percent recycled plastics across single-use plastic products and packaging.
Members of the European Plastics Pact include 15 governments and 66 companies. Progress will be monitored and reported each year by all signatories with a Secretariat keeping track of the results. Working groups will start to set up monitoring and reporting, and will also discuss reduce-and-reuse models, and how to design for a circular plastics economy.
The European Plastics Pact joins the U.K., France, Chile, The Netherlands, South Africa and Portugal as part of the global Plastics Pact network.
“The European Plastics Pact is a major step toward creating a circular economy for plastic, and the first supranational initiative to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global network of Plastics Pacts,” Sander Defruyt, new plastics economy lead at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
“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 do need can be circulated in the economy and kept out of the environment,” Defruyt added.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was launched in 2010 to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. Since its creation, the charity has emerged as a global thought leader in establishing the circular economy on the agenda of decision makers across business, government and academia.
“We are proud to have supported the development of this exciting new agreement,” WRAP CEO Marcus Gover said. “The launch of the first regional Plastics Pact is testament to the strength and reputation of the global network of national pacts which are paving the way in transforming the way we make, use and dispose of plastic.”
WRAP is an independent, objective, non-profit team of global social compliance experts dedicated to promoting safe, lawful, humane and ethical manufacturing around the world through certification and education.