In an article published on May 25, 2018 by news provider Euractiv, reporter Sam Morgan informed about a new report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) entitled “Improving markets for recycled plastics: Trends, prospects and policy responses.”
According to the report, manufacturers still favor virgin plastic, while recycled plastics are mostly used as a substitute to meet unsatisfied demand, rather than as an actual alternative. Thus, the price of recycled plastics is still tied to virgin plastics and dictated by the price of fossil fuel. The OECD suggests that the price of recycled plastics should be connected to costs of collection, sorting, and processing. The report also highlights that the process of recycling is very technical and expensive because of the broad variety of polymers and additives used by manufacturers.
To improve the market situation for recycled plastics, the OECD recommends establishing recycling targets, extending producer responsibility, and raising public awareness. Also, the report explores ideas such as public sector procurement policies, sharing of best practices, measures against illegal dumping and trafficking as well as taxes. The OECD calls for improved product design by training manufacturers and urges industry to move to standardized polymers. In conclusion, “no single intervention represents a solution,” the report states. “Properly functioning markets for recycled plastics will require action at global, national and local levels.”
Sam Morgan (May 25, 2018). “New OECD report shows recycling’s Herculean task.” Euractiv