In an article published on July 16, 2018, online news portal Plasteurope informed about the position paper published by the non-profit organization Reloop in July 2018. Reloop defines itself as “a platform that brings together industry, government, and non-governmental organizations to form a network for advances in policy that create enabling system conditions for circularity across the European economy.” In its position paper, Reloop comments on the proposal for reduction of single-use plastics, published by the European Commission (EC) in May 2018 (FPF reported). In particular, it calls for (i) stricter legislative measures in the form of “recycled content mandates”; (ii) high targets not only for collection but also for recycling of beverage bottles; and (iii) deposit-refund schemes for beverage bottles and other items.

Setting EU-wide requirements for recycled content in products will “improve the use of recycled content in plastic products” and offer “the producers of those products a level playing field to do business, especially during times when virgin resin is less expensive than recycled resin.” Reloop proposes to start with PET bottles, where setting a mandate for recycled content would “support and complement the 90% collection target for beverage containers” introduced in the EC’s proposal. In June 2018, Reloop published another paper specifically focusing on the recycled content mandates.

Reloop further emphasizes that, in addition to 90% collection target, “this target should also include recycling in order to make sure that what is collected is actually recycled, in line with the EU waste hierarchy.”

Reloop welcomes the EC’s support for the establishment of deposit-refund schemes for single-use beverage bottles because this can “significantly contribute to waste reduction and help achieve high reuse and recycling targets while at the same time reduce the marine litter problem.” In addition to beverage packaging, deposit-refund schemes can also be used for other products, including “fishing nets, coffee cups, batteries and electronic products,” Reloop suggests.

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PlastEurope (July 17, 2018). “PET RECYCLING. EU requirement on recycled content should be set.

Reloop (July 2018). “Position paper on the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment (COM(2018)340).(pdf)

Reloop (June 2018). “Closing the circular economy loop. A call for EU action on recycled content mandates.(pdf)