Dies ist eine HTML Version eines Anhanges der Informationsfreiheitsanfrage 'Workshops on plastics'.



Ref. Ares(2018)799094 - 12/02/2018
EUROPEAN COMMISSION 
DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs 
 
Consumer, Environmental and Health Technologies 

 
Chemicals 
 
 
 
 
Brussels, 28 June 2017 
GROW/DDG1/D/D2/
 
 
 
Subject: 
Summary note on the Workshop on a "European Strategy for 
Plastics: the role of value chains" – 23rd June 2017, room BREY  
"Fernand Braun" 

 
 

The workshop was attended by 30 participants, representing the European Commission, 
industry associations, companies (including chemical companies, plastics convertors, 
consumer goods manufacturers and waste collectors) and local authorities and civil society. 
The objective of the workshop was to discuss the role of different actors at each stage of the 
plastics value chain in increasing resource efficiency, gathering information about existing 
collaborative initiatives between these actors and exploring ways to organise and promote 
such initiatives in the future. 
Participants underlined the importance of the engagement of actors at each stage of the value 
chain, from resin producers and plastic convertors to downstream producers, recyclers and 
waste collectors.  
The role of chemical companies, in particular resin producers, at the start of the plastics value 
chain was discussed first. Chemical companies identified various challenges when 
collaborating with other actors in the supply chain, notably finding investments and de-risking 
innovative projects, managing/sharing intellectual property (IP) and scaling up pilot projects. 
Another emerging challenge for resin producers is finding ways to substitute hazardous 
chemicals and to introduce markers for traceability purposes. Some participants highlighted 
the risk of downcycling (losing quality/performance), while others suggested that 
downcycling is not relevant as long as the product is recycled. 
At the production and design stage, participants indicated that more easily recyclable 
materials should be used. Some participants also stressed that products with a long lifespan 
should be distinguished, as they are unlikely to come back into the same value chain and 
performance (longevity rather than recyclability) is the key factor. Some participants 
underlined the importance of the use of improved lifecycle assessment (LCA) techniques, as 
well as the development of effective extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes. At the 

waste collection stage, the need for better pricing of collection activities and more harmonised 
collection approaches were raised. The role of local authorities was also underlined.  
Participants agreed that successful collaboration requires the active involvement of various 
actors across the value chain, yet also stressed the significant investments needed to ensure 
successful collaboration. Various examples of successful collaborative projects were shared. 
One of the examples was the French 2ACR collaborative platform, which brings together all 
different actors in the value chain. Another example that was raised was the Dutch plastic 
value chain agreement (Ketenakkoord Kunststof Kringloop), which includes individual 
targets and commitments for each participating organisation. Participants of the workshop 
acknowledged that clear commitments are crucial.  
In response to the question whether collaborative projects should be organised per polymer or 
per application, participants indicated that there is no single solution.  
Various participants agreed that voluntary agreements are a suitable starting point. Some 
suggested broadening the focus of Ecodesign from energy to resource efficiency and 
ultimately integrating voluntary agreements into Ecodesign. One participant suggested 
establishing an EU Recycling Forum to exchange ideas. Furthermore, various participants 
underlined the importance of a systemic approach. Internal market barriers, for instance on 
packaging waste, were raised as an obstacle.  
The importance of increasing transparency across the value chain was also discussed. The use 
of tracers or digital watermarks was raised as a solution to improve separation, e.g. to 
distinguish between food/non-food content. Technologies already exist, but need to be further 
refined and applied. 
Some participants specifically encouraged the Commission to provide more support for 
relevant R&D projects, scale-up initiatives and other collaborative projects. According to 
some, support is also needed to make smaller niche markets more appealing for recyclers. 
Participants also reiterated the need to remove market barriers caused by regulatory 
divergences between Member States. Lastly, some pointed to the consumer angle and the 
importance of raising awareness among consumers.