Plastics – more than just bags

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Publication Date 11/10/2006
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The author states that pressure is growing across the European Union (EU) to improve the recycling of plastic waste.

An EU law of 1994 on packaging and packaging waste requires that member states reach a recycling target of 22.5% for plastics. For the EU15, the deadline to reach this target is December 2008. For Greece, Ireland and Portugal it is 2011. The new member states have deadlines from 2012-15. The targets in the packaging directive are binding for the member states and if they are not met, the Commission can start legal action for non-compliance. In addition, the 1999 directive on the landfill disposal of waste demands that EU countries reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste going to landfills to 50% before July 2009 and to 35% before July 2016.

All of which means that the scope for alternatives to recycling is reduced. Rising energy costs are another incentive for recycling.

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