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Recyclables must be collected separately for circular economy to succeed, says panel

March 23, 2017

Recyclables must be collected separately for circular economy to succeed, says panel

By Janie Matthews | EURACTIV.com
23 March 2017

Separate collection of recyclable materials is the key to a successful circular economy but some member states struggle to put the necessary infrastructure in place, policymakers told a EURACTIV event held on Tuesday (21 March).

Europe is on the fast track to having a circular economy, a vision of the future where no resources are wasted and all materials are recycled.

Materials need to be collected separately in order to minimise waste but not all EU member states are willing, or capable, of making separate collection a priority.

“We want to achieve something ambitious, but we need to keep in mind that member states are at different levels,” said Edward Vernon, Environment Unit Coordinator for Malta, which currently holds the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the EU.

Separate collection will be one of the issues up for discussion at forthcoming Council meetings, he said, expressing hope that a political agreement on the circular economy package can be reached by the end of 2017.

“We listen to the member states, and we need the majority of them on board,” he told the EURACTIV event, supported by FEFCO, the European Corrugated Packaging Association.

Plastic under the spotlight
But the recycling of plastics have been and will continue to be an obstacle, according to Kestutis Sadauskas, who is director for the Circular Economy and Green Growth at the European Commission.

Davor Škrlec, a Green MEP from Croatia, admitted his country was a “champion in landfilling”, particularly with plastics.

The current goal is for 85% of paper to be recycled by 2030, and Sadauskas says plastics need to catch up and “follow the example of paper”.

Read more at EURACTIV.

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