In Europe, plastic recycling is governed by a number of regulations and directives aimed at reducing plastic waste and promoting a circular economy. Here are some of the key regulations:
- The European Circular Economy Action Plan: This is a comprehensive framework that aims to promote a circular economy in Europe, where resources are used in a more sustainable and efficient way. The plan includes measures to reduce plastic waste, promote recycling, and stimulate the market for recycled and renewable plastics1.
- The Single-Use Plastics Directive: This directive, adopted in 2019, targets the 10 single-use plastic products most often found on Europe’s beaches and seas. It includes measures such as consumption reduction targets, product design requirements, and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes. It also sets a target to recycle 90% of plastic bottles by 20292.
- The Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive: This directive sets targets for the recovery and recycling of packaging waste, including plastic packaging. It also promotes the use of EPR schemes and encourages the design of packaging that reduces its environmental impact3.
- The Waste Framework Directive: This directive sets the general framework for waste management in Europe. It includes recycling targets for municipal waste (including plastic waste), promotes the use of EPR schemes, and introduces the concept of a waste hierarchy, which prioritizes waste prevention, reuse, and recycling over disposal4.
- The Landfill Directive: This directive aims to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, including plastic waste. It sets targets to reduce the landfilling of municipal waste and promotes the use of alternative waste management options, such as recycling5.
These regulations form a comprehensive framework for plastic recycling in Europe, promoting a shift towards a circular economy where plastic waste is minimized and resources are used more efficiently.