European Strategy For Plastics Unveiled At Retail Forum For Sustainability
The implementation of the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy will transform the way plastic products are designed, used and recycled in the EU.
That'ss according to Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, who was speaking at the annual Retail Forum for Sustainability.
He said, “The European Commission has proposed EU-wide rules aimed at fishing gear and single-use plastic products most frequently found on Europe's beaches.
“We welcome the efforts put forward by the retail sector in reducing the use of single-use plastics. Today’s Retail Forum is a good opportunity to shine the light on best practices put forward by the sector.”
Ahead Of The Curve
EuroCommerce Director-General, Christian Verschueren was also at the event, where he said that the retail and wholesale sector understands the demand by European consumers for more sustainable consumption, and he believes the sector is ahead of the curve.
“The sector has already demonstrated its leadership in reducing packaging and single-use plastics and made collective and individual commitments on, for instance, an 80% reduction in overall waste,” Verschueren said.
“Although we can have little impact on cleaning up marine litter, we are actively reducing micro-plastics in the products we sell, providing alternatives to single-use products, improving packaging for own-brand products, seeking to increase recycling and reuse, and developing initiatives on eco-design.
“Retailers are also investing in sustainable supply chains. To do all this, however, we need the responsibilities for action to be shared fairly across the supply chain, and a clear definition of ‘extended producer responsibility’ on the basis of the recently agreed Waste Framework Directive.”
Gathering All Actors
The director general of the European Retail Round Table (ERRT), Susanne Czech, was also in attendance, and she suggested that retailers have already “made good progress” in minimising plastic waste in supply chains.
She added, “The effectiveness and success of retailers’ initiatives have been closely monitored by an independent operator under the umbrella of the European Commission and is collected in the REAP database."
The EU recently announced a ban on single-use plastics such as cotton buds and plastic straws, putting the burden of cleaning up waste on manufacturers in an effort to reduce marine litter.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Aidan O'Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.