On September 20, 2019, over 100 public and private organizations along the plastics value chain signed a declaration within the Circular Plastics Alliance committing to reaching a target of using 10 million metric tons of recycled plastics in new products annually within Europe by 2025. This target was set within the European strategy for plastics published in January 2018 (FPF reported). Frans Timmermans, Vice-President of the European Commission (EC), commented “I welcome the industry’s commitments to rethink the way we produce and use plastics. By efficiently recycling plastics, we will clean up the planet and fight climate change, by substituting fossil fuels with plastic waste in the production cycle.” The declaration will remain open for further signatures, and business associations and companies are also invited to submit voluntary pledges for using or producing additional recycled plastics.

The commitment comes at a time when the perception of plastics by consumers is increasingly critical. “We are under attack as the plastics industry for single-use bottles, for beverage containers,” Coca-Cola Co. senior manager Penny Walter said at a recent conference. “We as an industry are at the point where we need to have a call to action,” she went on to say. “If you want to do business with Coca-Cola, I highly suggest you take this seriously. Sustainability is going to be the way to our future.” Industry association the American Chemistry Council (ACC) also recently published an infographic about chemical recycling in support of the technology as a way to better manage used plastics.

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EC (September 20, 2019). “Circular Plastics Alliance: 100+ signatories commit to use 10 million tons of recycled plastic in new products by 2025.”

Shahrzad Pourriahi (September 20, 2019). “More than 100 sign EU recycling pledge.” Plastics News

Plastics Europe (September 20, 2019). “Plastics Europe signs the Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration.”

Cefic (September 20, 2019). “The Circular Plastics Alliance to boost chemical recycling.”

Jim Johnson (September 20, 2019). “Plastics industry at ‘tipping point’ says Coke.” Plastics News

ACC (September 19, 2019). “Infographic: What Are Plastics-to-Fuel Technologies and How Should They Be Regulated?(pdf)