Plastics producers welcome agreement on EU Waste Framework Directive

The study Resource savings and CO2 reduction potentials in waste management in Europe and the possible contribution to the CO2 reduction target in 2020 by Prognos AG, in co-operation with the Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Dortmund and the IFEU - Institut für Energie- und Umweltforschung Heidelberg GmbH, can be downloaded from According to the study, introducing more recycling and recovery across the EU alone could save emissions of up to 234 Mt CO2 equivalent by 2020, compared to 2004 levels. This amounts to 27% of the EU`s 2020 emission reduction target, according to the authors of the study.

The revised Waste Framework Directive states that the term ?recycling` encompasses feedstock as well as mechanical recycling. Unlike alternative materials, plastics offer an additional level of recycling, e.g. by breaking down the polymer into its elementary chemical building blocks, such as monomers and other chemical intermediates, which can be used to either produce new materials similar to the original or for other purposes. The "feedstock recycling" is an integral part of many vital industrial processes, for example in the production of metals in blast furnaces or smelters. End-of-Life plastics can be used for making synthesis gas, which then can substitute coal or oil as feedstock in these processes, where they act as a reducing agent to produce metals from ore. In case of mixed plastic waste this can be more eco-efficient than mechanical recycling.

PlasticsEurope is one of the leading European trade associations with centres in Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan and Paris. It is networking with European and national plastics associations and has more than 100 member companies, producing over 90% of all polymers across the EU27 member states plus Norway, Switzerland, Croatia and Turkey.

The European plastics industry makes a significant contribution to the welfare in Europe by enabling innovation, creating quality of life to citizens and facilitating resource efficiency and climate protection. More than 1.6 million people are working in about 50.000 companies (mainly small and medium sized companies in the converting sector) to create a turnover in excess of 280 billion ? per year. The plastics industry includes polymer producers - represented by PlasticsEurope, converters - represented by EuPC and machine manufacturers - represented by EUROMAP.