The European Plastics Pact is the first regional Pact to join the Foundation's global Plastics Pact network. Launched today in Brussels, this Pact brings together governments and businesses within the European Economic Area (EEA) to work towards a common vision for a circular economy for plastic, in which plastics never become waste or pollution.
The Pact has been initiated by the French Ministry of the Ecological and Solidary Transition, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, and the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food, in consultation with more than 80 organisations from across Europe, and with the support of WRAP.
Together, the 81 members of the European Plastics Pact have committed to a set of ambitious 2025 targets. They include:
- Make all plastic packaging and single-use plastic products reusable where possible, and in all cases recyclable
- Reduce the need for virgin plastic products and packaging by at least 20%
- Increase the collection, sorting and recycling capacity of all plastics used in packaging and single-use products in participating countries by at least 25 percentage points
- Boost the use of recycled plastics as much as possible, with an average of at least 30% recycled plastics across single-use plastic products and packaging
As the first regional Pact in the network, the European Plastics Pact focuses on opportunities to drive ambitious action across country borders. Its members will:
- cooperate across the value chain on a European scale to boost the development of smarter techniques and approaches
- harmonise guidelines, standards, and national supporting frameworks
- connect to share best practices and lessons learned across Europe
Members of the European Plastics Pact include 15 governments and 66 companies. Progress will be monitored and reported each year by all signatories with a Secretariat keeping track of the results. Today, the first working groups will start to set up for monitoring and reporting. They will also discuss reduce and reuse models, how to design for a circular plastics economy, waste shipment, food contact applications, and actions to steer the supply chain.
The European Plastics Pact joins the UK, France, Chile, The Netherlands, South Africa and Portugal as part of the global Plastics Pact network, a unique platform to exchange learnings and best practices across countries and regions to accelerate the transition to a circular economy for plastic.
Sander Defruyt, New Plastics Economy Lead, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said:
“The European Plastics Pact is a major step towards creating a circular economy for plastic, and the first supranational initiative to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global network of Plastics Pacts. We applaud the leadership shown by the Dutch, French, and Danish governments to develop this ambitious plan, joining forces with governments and businesses across Europe to eliminate the plastics we don’t need and innovate, so the plastics we do need can be circulated in the economy and kept out of the environment.”
Stientje van Veldhoven, Dutch Minister for Environment and Housing said:
“It’s time to change the game. If we want to tackle climate change, we need to look beyond energy to materials. We have to start treating plastic as the valuable raw material it is and keep it out of our oceans. We strive to reuse all plastic in the future. From your daily chocolate bar wrapper to the shampoo bottle and everything in between. This is no easy task. We need the chemical industry to develop easily recyclable plastic. We need more recycling capacity and we need new product design. I am proud that today, with all these frontrunners, we are putting together our efforts to make this work.”
Brune Poirson, French Junior Minister for Ecological and Inclusive Transition said:
“By passing the circular economy anti-waste act, France has set an end date for the application of all single-use plastic packaging in its law. This huge step requires changing production and consumption patterns within the next 20 years. Being the frontrunners of this European Plastics pact, we set the tone for all the public policies that it wants to see implemented shortly within the European Union.”
Lea Wermelin, Danish Minister for Environment said:
“The European Plastics Pact is a unique opportunity for governments and businesses to work together for a greener future. Plastics is a valuable material and it is time that we should treat it as such; by reducing, reusing and recycling much more than today. We also have to remember that this is a climate change agenda. We need to stop incinerating plastics and curb the resulting emissions. It is my sincere hope and belief that the European plastics pact can improve our climate footprint and prevent plastics from ending up in nature.”
Marcus Gover, WRAP CEO said:
“We are proud to have supported the development of this exciting new agreement. The launch of the first regional Plastics Pact is testament to the strength and reputation of the global network of national Pacts which are paving the way in transforming the way we make, use and dispose of plastic.”