Higher recycling rates can be achieved with quality sorting

Plastics Recyclers Europe was celebrating its 20th birthday during the Annual Meeting which took place on 16 and 17 June in Cascais, Portugal. The event gathered over 150 participants from all over Europe who were debating on improving plastic waste sorting.

Helmut Maurer from the DG Environment, European Commission in his keynote speech highlighted the importance of the transition to the circular economy by strict execution of a future landfill ban on plastics, adequate rules on design of plastic, in particular plastic packaging, and by applying a critical look to incineration. “Closing landfills for plastic must not lead to more incineration and statistical confusion about what is recycling and what is energy recovery must be cleared away,” said Helmut Maurer.

During the conference Plastics Recyclers Europe released the Strategy Paper of the association: Plastics Recyclers Europe 20 years later and the way forwardMaking more from plastics waste, to mark the progress of the industry during those past two decades and to illustrate challenges ahead as well as to make an attempt of providing possible ways of addressing them.

“Recyclers are positive but need to stay realistic. Despite the fact that the industry took almost a quantum leap over the past 20 years it needs further investments to become more competitive and professionalized. With only 26.3% recycling rates and landfill and incineration still having much higher share we cannot rest on our laurels”, said Ton Emans.

The Strategy Paper emphasizes the environmental advantages of plastics recycling as one of the solutions to the natural resources depletion, air pollution but also efficient waste management.

During the event PRE Management Committee appointed Antonino Furfari as the new Managing Director who replaced Alexandre Dangis.

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Organisers of the Plastics Recycling Show Europe exhibition and conference have announced that the event will move to the new venue of the RAI Amsterdam in The Netherlands and be held on the 29-30 March 2017.

Europe‘s metals, steel, paper, and plastics recyclers industries are united in calling for a harmonised method to measure recycling rates at input into the 'final recycling process', so as to promote material recovery and thus quality recycling. We support the European Commission and European Parliament proposals on this subject.