Plastic materials and circular economy. Research and statistics.
For the last three years, circular economy and plastic packaging is one of the most discussed topics all around the globe. Following the lead of a more sustainable planet, European Union (E.U.) has set specific targets for the recyclability of plastic materials, which have to be respected by the member states.
Regarding plastic packaging, the recyclability target is set at 50 % until 2025 and 55 % until 2030. This means that member states should be able to recycle the above percentages of their plastic packaging within the timeframe mentioned.
Furthermore, the target for plastic PET bottles has been set and requires a minimum of 25 % per weight of recycled content until 2025 and 30 % until 2030.
As an additional measure to increase recyclability awareness and push the economy to more sustainable solutions, E.U. has decided to implement a tax/fine for the member states which have an increased ratio of non-recycled/recycled product waste. According to this tax algorithm, Greece is entitled to pay ~110 million € for the waste of plastic packaging only at year 2019. This taxation/fine is designed to increase the interest of new infrastructure for the recycling chain and also lead to increased consumer responsibility and interest for recyclability. On the other hand, this tax increases the national expenses of each member state.
Worth noting for Greece is that the 77,6 % of total waste produced were led to the landfill (2019) whereas only 21 % was recycled. Specifically for plastic packaging, the recycling percentage was 37,6 % at 2019, which is quite lower than the target of 50 % set for 2025.
All the above information and many more were searched and published by the Greek foundation for economic and industrial research. (I.O.B.E) and was presented by the Greek Assosiation of Hellenic Plastics Industries (A.H.P.I.)