The need to prevent plastic and all other litter from reaching our oceans and environment is clear and undisputable. For us, European companies big and small, it makes economic sense – agriculture, fisheries and tourism suffer from littering, and billions worth of resources are potentially wasted as they are thrown away rather than being reused or recycled. But is banning plastics a panacea? And should companies be solely responsible for curbing plastics littering?
A #RaceToTheTop to #BeatPlasticPollution event co-hosted by the EU and the UN Environment Programme, took place on Tuesday, 25 September, during the UN General Assembly, encouraging governments around the world to follow the EU’s lead and tackle this cross-border challenge. The EU is at the forefront of the global transition towards a more circular economy, transforming how products are designed, produced, used, and recycled in a way that is positive for our environment and boosts our industry’s competitiveness.
Recycling of beverage cartons is growing in the EU and reached 48% in 2017, according to industry-wide figures. This marks the twelfth consecutive year of increased recovery for recycling. Last year, the total recovery rate reached 76%.
“ACE members have a long-standing commitment to recycling. Having very much welcomed the revised Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and the introduction of mandatory separate collection of packaging waste, ACE is working with national beverage carton associations to support recycling performance across Europe. To this end, the members of ACE – BillerudKorsnäs, Elopak, SIG, Stora Enso and Tetra Pak – have decided to launch a new platform to coordinate the industry’s engagement in recycling across Europe. We are pleased to see that recycling of our cartons is growing each year and we are convinced that this trend will continue with the implementation of EU waste legislation and new industry initiatives,” said Annick Carpentier, ACE Director General.
Over four fifths of the litter on European beaches is plastic, and over 50% is made of single-use plastic, according to a new scientific report.