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0.8 euro per kilogram! EU finally starts with packaging waste
Time: 2020-7-25 10:23:59 Source:绿凯思科GETRECYCLING Author:GET营销中心 Hits:52

Recently, members of the European Commission have agreed to impose a new EU tax on plastic packaging waste. It is reported that the new tax is part of the EU's 750 billion euro economic recovery plan against the new coronavirus epidemic. The income will be used to repay part of the loan required for the recovery plan.



The tax will be implemented on January 1, 2021. The tax will be calculated based on the weight of the plastic packaging waste that has not been recovered. The tax standard is 0.80 euro (equivalent to 6.4 yuan) per kilogram of waste plastic.


As early as may 2018, the European Commission proposed for the first time a tax of 0.80 euro per kilogram of non recyclable plastic packaging waste to raise 4 billion to 8 billion euro, which can provide 4% of the EU budget.


The German chemical industry association was opposed


For example, German environmental protection organization Deutsche umwelthiffe (duh) welcomed the tax, saying that the tax system should have been introduced for a long time. Duh also believes that the level of taxation is too low to play a real role. Jurgen Resch, director general of duh, said, "we need tax rates that really bring about change." He said rules should also be made to prevent disposable plastic products such as plastic bottles, bags and coffee cups from entering the natural environment.



In addition, duh suggested that it would be more effective to tax new plastics in packaging than to levy taxes on unrecycled plastic packaging waste.


However, there are also industry bodies opposed to the tax, such as last week's German Chemical Industry Association VCI warned against imposing EU taxes on unrecycled plastic packaging waste.


On the corporate side, a series of EU legislative measures have prompted the petrochemical and packaging industry as a whole to set ambitious sustainability targets that exceed the minimum requirements set by the EU.


The sustainable development goal of many plastic bottle manufacturers is to use at least 50% of recycled materials by 2030, or to switch to other materials, such as bio based or non plastic alternatives. However, these materials usually have a greater environmental impact than plastics because of their higher energy consumption, carbon emissions and weight than plastics.


The shortage of materials and the limitation of technology make the enterprises turn to other solutions


At present, the EU is facing a shortage of recycled plastics, among which the shortage of recycled PET materials is the main manifestation, because recycled PET is the most widely used recycled material in Europe, and has the most developed market and infrastructure. The shortage of recycled materials is related to the growth rate of recovery rate not keeping up with the demand. For example, in 2018, the European pet recovery rate was 63%, but the annual recovery growth rate was less than 3%.


In addition, packaging manufacturers using polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are studying to switch to other materials (including PET), which further aggravates the shortage of recycled PET materials. Due to the high recovery rate of pet, they generally believe that the supply of recycled PET materials, especially food grade PET materials, is sufficient. In fact, the production capacity of food grade granules (FGP) in the plastic bottle market is insufficient. At present, the output in Europe is about 300000 tons / year, accounting for about 9% of the total demand for PET plastic bottles.



At the same time, to obtain the approval of the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), 95% of the recycled materials must come from food contact level applications and need to have complete and reliable traceability throughout the industry chain. For recycled PET, it is not difficult to achieve a 95% ratio because its main raw materials are plastic beverage bottles. However, for other recycled materials collected by roadside waste collection plan, the 95% ratio is difficult to achieve due to the complex sources.


ICIS analysis shows that to achieve the goal of disposable plastic recycling, the annual recovery growth rate needs to reach 9%, which does not include the rising factors of pollution rate in the region. According to market estimates, cross contamination with other plastics, together with the losses caused by mechanical processing, has increased the average waste rate of disposable plastics in Europe from 25% to 30-35%.


The shortage of material supply, coupled with the opacity of material sources and the loss of material properties, have led many enterprises to seek alternative solutions, such as chemical recycling or bio based materials, to achieve their sustainable development commitments.

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