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EU prohibits reclamation of plastic waste from 2020


- France's plastic waste recycling rate, 24th out of 29 member countries -

- A lot of competency will be concentrated on plastic recycling for packaging materials -

- It is necessary to heed the use of packaging plastic in export -


□ European Union (EU) bans landfilling of plastic waste from 2020

○ Worldwide plastic production is increasing by 3% each year, and by 2012, 288 million tons of plastics were produced.

- Production in the EU is 45.9 million tons, of which around half, 25.2 million tons is discarded.

- According to EU plastic producers' association PlasticsEurope, 36% of the waste plastics in the EU are being energized and 26% are being recycled, while the remaining 38% are going to landfill

○ According to the EU Commission guidelines, member states are obliged to reduce the amount of waste plastic waste to 0% by 2020.

- France has a much higher recycling rate than other countries in the current situation, where there is more than six years left.

- The EU average recycling rate is 26.3%, while France is 20%, ranking 24th among 29 member countries

- If this is the case, it will be possible to achieve the target in 2035. The government and related industries need deep attention and participation.


□ France recycles late but not too late plastic recycling

France is 24th among 29 member countries, but the recycling rate is gradually increasing.

- Plastics can be broadly divided into packaging materials, automobile parts and equipment, building materials, electrical and electronic parts, and other purposes depending on the application.

- Plastics recycling rates other than building materials have been increasing steadily, especially plastic recycling rate of packaging materials has increased significantly.

○ Plasticity with the greatest potential and potential for development

- All packaging plastics are expected to have the widest application range and the highest potential for development.

- The amount of plastic waste accounted for 63.6% of the total plastic waste, but it was not recycled except PET bottles used as bottled water bottles.


□ Problem is cost

○ It is enough to raise the recycling rate by policy.

According to Michelle Lubrie, the representative of Plastics Europe France, it is possible to increase the recycling rate of packaging plastic to 40% if the government is to further refine the plastic separation collection policy and broaden the scope of separation.

- However, due to policy changes, there is difficulty in securing a budget to be added.

○ Demonstration project results are hopeful, but there is long way ahead.

- Valorplast, a plastic recycling specialist in packaging materials, has conducted pilot projects for 2.2 million residents from 39 local governments over the years since 2008, and the results will be officially announced at the beginning of next year

- A project to expand the items to be sorted out and to arrange several separate collection boxes to encourage the residents to voluntarily participate in separate collection, recycling, and dispose of separated plastic materials

- As a result, it succeeded in collecting more items than conventional PET-based recycling, but it was somewhat less than initially expected. Up to now, there is not enough to recycle various items of recyclable waste disposal facilities at the facility level, so the new problem is that half of the facilities should be upgraded.

○ Institutional support is also required

- Institutional support is required at the national level to increase the plastic recycling rate.

- Consideration is being given to levying high landfill taxes on plastic landfills, such as Germany, or to prohibit the landfill itself from plastic materials with a wide range of recycling.

- In fact, waste landfill costs in France are considerably lower than those of neighboring countries such as Germany.

- Packaging Plastic waste is considered to be an effective way to reduce waste generation, and measures such as significantly increasing the price of disposable plastic bags are also recommended.


Plastic waste washed away to the shore (The New York Times)

□ Implications

○ Since 2020, plastic waste landfills are totally prohibited in the EU.

- Although the schedule may change slightly depending on the situation of the member countries, the EU Commission's willingness to reduce plastic waste is very strong.

- First, efforts should be made to minimize the use of plastic packaging materials in products exported to the EU.

○ Institutional changes in the EU market should be considered from the time of product production.

- It is also necessary to consider the concept of the product that minimizes the use of electronic products and construction plastic products. In the case of electronic products, it is also necessary to consider the 'producer responsibility system' in which producers are responsible for the disposal of products.

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