Sustainability is, and will always be, vital to our members. As the challenges we face have become more critical, we are ramping up our contribution to the sustainable production and safe use of plastics, while ensuring they continue their positive contribution to healthy societies and growing economies as well as reducing GHG emission.
The transition to a sustainable and circular plastics economy demands focus, collaboration and sizeable, long-term investments in systems and technology that can deliver the transition to a zero-waste future.
Versatile and durable, plastics are a remarkable and essential material to ensure a sustainable future. They allow us to meet a myriad of functional and aesthetic demands, for example, reducing food waste and emissions from cars and buildings, and enabling the shift from fossil-fuel to renewable energy through their use in wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles. The success of plastics has, however, created one of its greatest challenges. It is used almost everywhere, and the uptake of plastics has been quicker than the development of innovative waste management and collection systems, and our general consumption behaviours.
Any plastic waste in the environment is unacceptable. We recognise our role in addressing this issue and to provide the solutions where we can – there is still more we can do. Our commitment as an industry is to relentlessly focus on ensuring that plastics continue to deliver societal benefits without having a negative impact on the environment.
We are increasing our efforts to reduce plastic waste, promote reuse and collection and recycling of plastic waste, and have stepped up the transition to a circular economy. This includes supporting the European Union’s Green Deal ambitions – our collective blueprint for accelerating our transformation. We are determined to implement long-lasting positive change to deliver sustainable and circular plastics for all applications.
Robust science is crucial. It is our guide towards solutions that are genuinely better for the environment, in both the short- and long-term. We need a scientific, data and risk assessment driven approach to measuring progress and determining our direction of travel, whether this relates to landfill and incineration reduction, virgin feedstock replacement, or tracking greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We will ensure that life cycle thinking is the backbone of the industry.
Plastics and the EU Green Deal
The plastics industry fully supports the European Union’s Green Deal and climate neutrality objectives.
The creation of a circular plastics economy will help to reduce GHGs and waste, whilst increasing resource efficiency and providing opportunities for sustainable innovation and job creation. This, combined with the role that plastics are playing in terms of enabling the transition from fossil-fuel to renewable energy through their use in wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles, means that the plastics industry will play a vital role in helping Europe to realise its climate ambitions.
We also support initiatives such as the EU mandatory target for recycled content in packaging and the Commission’s single-use plastics guidelines – while highlighting the need for a robust framework and harmonised policies.
Plastics – a critical partner
Our industry has an essential role to play in making plastics more sustainable, and finding solutions to the challenges of climate change, energy and resource efficiency, consumer protection and the circular economy.
This is why collaborating and investing in long-term partnerships with academia, policy makers, civil society and local communities, and other companies across the plastics value chain, is so crucial.