PlasticsEurope says plastic tax would put sustainability at risk / No positive effect on waste management – European plastics producers are clearly positioning themselves against the EU’s idea of a plastic tax. Such a tax would not bring improvements to waste management and littering – Plastic tax sustainability risk - Arhive

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PlasticsEurope says plastic tax would put sustainability at risk / No positive effect on waste management
 Plastic tax sustainability risk

Karl-H. Foerster (Photo: PlasticsEurope)

European plastics producers are clearly positioning themselves against the EU’s idea of a plastic tax. Such a tax would not bring improvements to waste management and littering. On the contrary, even a sustainable economy and climate protection would be threatened, said Karl-H. Foerster, executive director of the European association PlasticsEurope(Brussels / Belgium; www.plasticseurope.org), at PlasticsEurope Deutschland‘s trade press day in Frankfurt / Germany on 12 April 2018.

Foerster says plastics are excellent for a sustainable usage of raw materials, for example, in building insulation, protecting fragile or perishable goods, lightweight construction or renewable energy technologies. Polymer materials spare valuable resources and save energy, and in such a way reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These multiple benefits regarding sustainability and climate protection would be jeopardised by an extra tax on polymers, and it would hinder innovation.

For waste disposal especially, it is expected that such a tax would offer no improvements at all. Rather, a prerequisite for manufacturing high-quality secondary raw materials is a functioning waste management system, such as in Germany, where plastics waste recovery has reached 99%. The EU circular economy package provides the right incentives for other parts of Europe to achieve a similarly high level, Foerster emphasised. This should be promoted with greater consistency.

Likewise, a European tax on plastic offers no solution to the problem of “marine littering”. Instead, global efforts are needed to improve waste management and public awareness at the local level. Plastics associations from around the globe are already working together on solutions to marine litter issues, with numerous projects being implemented worldwide.

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