The EU Plastics Strategy is now more than a year old, and the policy measures it announced are, for the most part, being implemented. The iconic Single Use Plastics Directive introducing restrictions and requirements for the most common plastic products found on European beaches is soon to be officially adopted. Various other measures, such as the revision of the requirements for plastic packaging, are also being put on the table.
To steer the implementation of new ambitious measures, ECOS seeks to help rethink how plastic products are conceived today. In order to do so, we have launched a study looking into applying ecodesign principles to plastic products.
Ecodesign is rapidly becoming a fashionable term, especially on the EU policy arena. In principle, it seeks to ensure products are designed to limit their impact on the environment. It is fundamental to introduce such ecodesign principles into the very early stages plastic conception, in order to make sure they can serve the circular economy.
We believe that reduction and re-use of plastics should always be prioritised, and at the end of their long useful life, their recycling should be enabled. Furthermore, unnecessary plastic should be avoided at source, and problematic chemicals entirely excluded from the process.
To kickstart the discussion around ecodesigning plastics, the new ECOS report will determine which policy tools are available to drive the agenda of circular plastics, and which policies still need to be developed. A set of recommendations will also be formulated for the most prolific plastic-using sectors such as packaging, construction, automotive, and electronics, in order to dramatically reduce their plastic footprint.
The study is being carried out by a joint consortium composed of VITO and Ökopol. The final report will be presented at the ECOS conference on 13 June 2019 in Brussels – save the date!