European Commission releases plastics strategy

19 February 2018

European Commission releases plastics strategy


 “The plastics strategy will lay the foundations for Europe’s new circular plastics economy and drive investment towards it (…) while also bringing new opportunities for innovation, competitiveness and high quality jobs
Jyrki Katainen, Commission Vice-President responsible for jobs and growth

Thad Zajdowicz: water bottles, flickr

On 16th January, the European Commission proposed a Plastics Strategy to help clean up plastic filling oceans and landfills. The goal is that all plastic packaging is reusable or recyclable by 2030. Europe generates approx. 26 million tons of plastic per year, but only an estimated 30% of this is currently recycled.

The Plastics Strategy is a collection of different legislative proposals, updates to existing goals and various other measures. The first proposal is due in May 2018 on single-use plastics. The impact of this new initiative on the printing industry—i.e. flexible packaging printing and polybags used to protect mailings—will be assessed by Intergraf over the coming months. We will also monitor the impact on fibre-based packaging, with a first discussion foreseen at our next Environmental Working Group on 6th March 2018.

Also included in the proposal are new requirements to design products which are recyclable, as well as EU-wide quality standards for plastic waste, which can then be more easily plugged back into the production chain. The strategy makes no mention of an EU plastics tax, which Budget Commissioner Oettinger introduced in early January as a part of his post-2020 financial plan.

For more information about the plastics strategy you can refer to the Commission's press release.


ContactLaetitia Reynaud