The overall EU strategy is based specifically on four basic tenets:
Unused potential Every year, the people of Europe produce 25 million tonnes of plastic waste.
The world produces 78 million tonnes of plastic waste a year.
The world as a whole needs to respond to this global problem. So far, recycling rates have been low around the globe,
ranging from 30% in Europe and 25% in China
to just 9% in the US (plastic waste statistics for 2017).
Much of that waste ends up in landfills or is incinerated, posing a risk to our groundwater and the air.
Projects such as Pacific Garbage Screening are
currently trying to develop technologies and methods for collecting waste. The
massive quantities of refuse destined for the world’s oceans could be separated
using appropriate sorting systems and reused efficiently if it were possible to
fish them out of the water at the mouths of rivers – something that would also
be in line with the EU’s plastics strategy.
So how does a circular economy work?
Recyclability must be taken into account when designing packaging. That is
because the material itself has to be as pure as possible in order to actually
be able to use plastic waste or used plastic as a secondary raw material and
convert it into recyclates with the quality necessary to manufacture new
products, no matter where in the world this process takes place.
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