This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'DG GROW: Plastics Europe voluntary commitments'.


Ref. Ares(2018)1373082 - 13/03/2018
Personal and Confidential  
 
Version 8 draft (28/11/2017) 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Voluntary Commitments of the European Plastics 
Industry to increasing circularity and resource efficiency 
 
 
 


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Version 8 draft (28/11/2017) 
 
Contents 
 
Executive Summary ........................................................................................................................... 3 
Introduction ......................................................................................................................................... 5 
Section I – General Commitments ................................................................................................. 6 
1.  Preventing Plastics Litter in the Environment ............................................................... 6 
2.  Improving Resource Efficiency and Accelerating Innovation to Increase 
Circularity
 ......................................................................................................................................... 6 

3.  Creating Global Awareness ................................................................................................. 7 
Section II – Sector Specific Commitments .................................................................................. 8 
1.  Increasing Plastic Recycling ............................................................................................... 8 
2.  Uptake of more Recycled Polymers .................................................................................. 9 
Section III - A Regulatory Framework for Success ................................................................... 9 
1.  EU Regulatory Support ......................................................................................................... 9 
2.  EU Funding ............................................................................................................................ 10 
 
 
 
 


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Executive Summary 
 
 
 


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Version 8 draft (28/11/2017) 
 
Plastics – Increasing Circularity and Resource Efficiency 
 
Introduction 
 

Voluntary Commitments of the European Plastics Industry 
to increasing circularity and resource efficiency 

The Plastics2040 Voluntary Commitment focuses on preventing leakage of plastics into 
the environment, improving resource efficiency and the re-use and recycling rates of 
different plastic packaging
 applications. 
 
The signatory organizations commit to work together to aim at achieving the goal of 100% 
re-use, recycling
 and recovery of all plastic packaging in the EU-28, Norway and 
Switzerland by 2040, the overriding focus of this commitment being on ensuring high rates 
of re-use and recycling of plastic packaging
.  
 
The European Commission aims at transforming Europe into a more circular and 
resource efficient economy. The European Plastics Industry fully supports this 
objective. 
It is widely recognized that plastics have a crucial role to play in delivering a more 
sustainable future. Through their unique combination of light weight and durability, 
plastics already contribute to emissions reduction and more efficient use of 
resources across a range of different sectors and everyday applications. As a result 
of their versatility and capacity for innovation, plastic materials are also invariably 
best placed to support breakthrough sustainable technologies. 
However, challenges relating to littering and end-of-life options for certain types of 
plastics waste must be addressed if the material is to fulfil its full potential in a 
circular and resource efficient economy.  
It is in this spirit of commitment to sustainable development, that the European 
plastics supply chain has come together to agree a series of ambitious targets and 
initiatives up to 2030-2040 focussing on the key areas of preventing leakage of 
plastics into the environment, improving resource efficiency and increasing recycling 
rates.  
Delivering against these objectives will be reported on a yearly basis. 
 
 


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Section I – General Commitments 
 

1.  Preventing Plastics Litter in the Environment 
1.1 Actions to Prevent Pellet Loss 
Operations Clean Sweep (OCS) is a voluntary programme aiming towards zero 
pellet loss during the manufacture of plastic pellets, handling, distribution and 
processing. 
 
The European Plastics Industry will implement OCS at producers’ and recyclers’ 
facilities, and continue working with the entire supply chain to fully implement OCS at 
all levels including transport and logistics. 
 
The European Plastics Industry will set up a transparent, harmonised assessment 
and monitoring scheme in line with EU standards to report back to the EU institutions 
and key stakeholders on a yearly basis.  
 
1.2 Actions to Prevent Littering 
a)  Reduce Littering of Top Plastic Items Found in the Environment 
By 2018 the Plastics Industry will intensify its engagement with key stakeholders 
investigating into plastic items found in the European environment, and subsequently 
develop and implement solutions to prevent these items from being littered. 
 
b)  Support to Educational Programmes 
The European Plastics Industry will continue to work closely together with other 
stakeholders to develop and support projects aiming at raising awareness, positively 
enhancing knowledge levels, attitude and behaviour of citizens. For example, Waste 
Free Oceans and the more than 30 educational related projects that are running in 
28 member states under the flag of Marine Litter Solutions like Grimpola Ecomar 
Foundation (Spain), Recykling Rejs (Poland), CSI: Litter Challenge (UK), and La 
plastica in vacanza (Plastics on holiday) (Italy). These projects are regularly revised. 
 
 
2.  Improving Resource Efficiency and Accelerating Innovation to Increase 
Circularity 
2.1 Accelerate using Alternative Feedstocks 
In addition to increasing recycling in the value chain, the Plastics Industry will 
continue to expand and explore the use of CO2 and other renewable feedstocks. By 
2019 it will conduct a study on plastics in the circular economy and on increasing the 
use of alternative feedstocks.  


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Based on this study, recommendations for actions will be formulated aiming at 
minimizing environmental impacts. 
 
2.2 Facilitate Future Resource Efficiency Gains 
To utilize additional and future potentials, key activities have been identified: 
a)  Product Life Cycle Inventory 
The Plastics Industry will regularly update and publish its Life-Cycle Inventory 
dataset (LCI) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) for the main plastics 
and recyclates on a 3-yearly basis. 
 
b)  Extended Waste Data 
The Plastics Industry will regularly collect and publish data to support the monitoring 
of the transition to a more circular and resource efficient economy.   
 
c)  Eco-Design Guidelines for Plastics Packaging 
By 2020 the Plastics Industry will have finalized the on-going development of eco-
design guidelines for Plastic packaging and design for recycling to maximise re-use 
or recycling of plastic packaging. 
 
d)  Standardization support/requirement 
The Plastics Industry will actively pursue an integrated and consistent approach to 
the standardization of environmental aspects such as recycling, circular economy 
and bio-based materials at international, European and national level.as well as the 
removal in existing standards of unjustified restrictions preventing the uptake of 
recyclates. 
 
e)  Study of “The role of plastics in the circular economy” 
By 2019 the Plastics Industry will publish an independent third party report about 
“The role of plastics in the circular economy”.  
This report will encompass all aspects related to the manufacturing, use and 
disposal of plastics, such as the impact of plastics materials in daily life, socio-
economic aspects as well as environmental challenges.  
 
 
 


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3.  Creating Global Awareness  
The Plastics Industry will further increase its engagement to help to deploy 
appropriate solutions to prevent marine litter and promote circularity around the 
world. It will strengthen its engagement with other international industry 
organizations and stakeholders like the Global Plastics Alliance (GPA) and the World 
Plastics Council (WPC) to demonstrate commitments and initiate global action. It will 
collaborate and participate in thought-leadership-dialogues with EC, UNEP, G7/G20, 
WBSCD, and others. 
 
 
Section II – Sector Specific Commitments 
 

1.  Increasing Plastic Recycling 
In addition to the significant number of National initiatives, the European Plastics 
Industry has set up Circular Economy Platforms and Value Chain Initiatives as the 
basis for developing feasible overall approaches, develop innovative solutions, 
ensure multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration, and financing the activities. 
These programmes stimulate increased recycling across different plastic types and 
sectors. Independent structures with dedicated funding have/will be set up.  
 
Platform 1 
[Input to be included] 
 
Platform 2 
[Input to be included] 
 
Platform 3 
[Input to be included] 
 
Platform 4 
[Input to be included] 
 
 


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2.  Uptake of more Recycled Polymers 
Industry commits to use more recyclates in final applications provided the quality and 
material availability are secured and that the brand owners are ready to request 
more recyclates in their specifications. 
A regular report about the current and future use of plastics recyclates by industry 
will be published on a yearly basis to demonstrate the growing intake of recycled 
material in the plastics industry. 
New Eurostat NACE nomenclatures regarding plastics waste and recyclates will be 
suggested, in order to monitor the waste export and recyclate use volumes. This will 
be possible after the adoption of the EU wide standards on recyclates and sorting of 
plastics waste. 
 
 
Section III - A Regulatory Framework for Success  
 

1.  EU Regulatory Support 
In order to achieve our targets towards a more sustainable, resource efficient and 
globally competitive European Plastics Industry, EU policy support is required: 
 
  Zero Plastics to Landfill 
The landfilling of recyclable and other recoverable post-consumer waste shall be 
stopped as soon as possible in the European Union. 
 
  Internal Market 
Maintain the EU internal market legal base for the EU Packaging & Packaging Waste 
Directive and all its amending acts. 
 
  Separate Collection 
Mandatory separate collection of all packaging from residual waste by 2025. 
 
  Alignment of REACH/Waste/ CLP/ Product legislation 
Alignment of REACH, CLP and waste and product legislation to remove the 
obstacles for recycling. It includes the implementation of a risk based approach in 
order to secure the full potential of plastics recycling of longer life applications into 
controlled loops (with traceability of SVHC additives) and secure the safety of 
virgin/recycled plastics for their intended application. 


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  Food Contact Regulation 
Adoption of all measures required for the full implementation of the Food Contact 
Regulation EC/282/2008. 
 
 
2.  EU Funding 
Mobilise public funding (such as Horizon 2020) to encourage and stimulate 
innovation in plastics: 

feedstock recycling  

re-use models 

low carbon footprint feedstocks 

innovation in traceability of materials, collection schemes, sorting and treatment 
of secondary raw materials. 
As this will establish a multi-year process of continuous improvement and learning, 
we invite to monitor and guide it with the help of an XXX committee, comprising of 
members from the European Commission and Parliament, academia, civil society, 
and the Plastics Industry. 
 
 
 
Brussels XX December 2017 
Signatories 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Name XX 
Name XX 
Name XX 
Association XX 
Association XX 
Association XX 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Name XX 
Name XX 
Name XX 
Association XX 
Association XX 
Association XX 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Name XX 
 
 


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Association XX 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The European plastics industry is an integral part of the manufacturing in the 
European Union with over 62,000 companies providing more than 1.4 million 
jobs and annually contributing 26 billion euros to public finances.  
 
 
 

 
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