This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Workshops on plastics'.



 
Ref. Ares(2018)799342 - 12/02/2018
EUROPEAN COMMISSION 
DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs 
 
Consumer, Environmental and Health Technologies 
  Chemicals 
 
 
 
 
 
Brussels, 27 June 2017 
GROW/DDG1/D/2/
  
 
 
 
 
Subject: Summary Note on the Workshop on sustainable feedstock for 
plastics 
 
 
 
The workshop was attended by approximately 25 participants, representing the European 
Commission, industry associations, companies (including chemical companies, plastics 
convertors, consumer goods manufacturers and waste collectors), and civil society. 
 
The Commission presented the Joint Research Centre's (JRC) work supporting the 
plastics strategy, in particular on the assessment of environmental sustainability of 
alternative feedstocks (including recycled plastics, biomass and CO2). JRC proposes to 
use the Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) approach, as well as indicators on resource 
efficiency and other sustainability impacts.  
 
Participants expressed support for the project and acknowledged the LCA approach as 
one of the elements to assess sustainability. Various technical aspects of the project were 
discussed, such as the comparators and the methods used to assess circularity. Some 
participants stressed the importance of giving equal consideration to both biomass and 
recycled plastics. Furthermore, the availability of feedstock and the security of supply 
were raised as relevant factors. LCA was also considered to be useful to identify hotspots 
where the sustainability impacts are expected to be the most significant. 
 
On the diversification of feedstock, participants discussed the trade-offs between the 
different alternative feedstocks. Some participants advocated focusing more on novel 
technologies for bio-based feedstocks, while others underlined the importance of 
recycling as a widely applicable solution. In response, some participants advocated 
material-neutral performance-driven solutions. Others stressed the importance of waste 
prevention, which is technology-neutral, thereby avoiding a lock-in effect for certain 
technologies. 
 
Various recommendations were raised and discussed, including improving the 
collection/sorting of plastic waste, setting recycling targets, green public procurement 
and improving extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes. Some participants also 
underlined the importance of investing in new technologies, such as chemical recycling. 
Better consumer information (e.g. through labelling) and the use of Ecodesign were also 
raised. Furthermore, participants suggested incentivising environmental performance 
based on a limited set of criteria. In addition, it was reminded that plastics often replace 
other materials that may be much less sustainable, underlining the need for a 
comprehensive LCA approach.