The report of the Special Working Group "Strengthening the Use of Recyclates" of the Conference of Environment Ministers contains numerous proposals on how to advance the recycling of plastics.
During the Conference of Environment Ministers from May 11-13, 2022, the report of the Special Working Group "Strengthening the Use of Recyclates" (RESAG) was released for publication, Euwid reports. On May 16, the report was presented to the public in Berlin as part of RESAG's final event. More than 120 experts from industry, administration and science were reportedly involved in its preparation under the leadership of the environmental ministries in Brandenburg and Baden-Württemberg. The authors drew up a catalog of measures designed to promote the use of recycled plastics on a broad front and to leverage previously untapped potential. According to the report, the first measure to improve the use of recyclates as quickly as possible and strengthen the recycling of plastic waste as a whole is one that has already been the subject of much discussion and controversy in the past: the nationwide introduction of a recycling garbage can. To this end, a legal regulation is proposed that would create a nationwide standard as the "Plastics Act" or "Raw Materials Safeguarding Act". According to the report, commercial packaging should also be included in the collection, although no indication is given as to who should then be specifically responsible for the disposal of this commercial waste. Furthermore, the working group proposes in its report that non-recyclable or poorly recyclable plastics be removed from the market by means of legal control instruments or also by means of voluntary self-commitment on the part of industry. The working group makes further proposals, among other things, for "design for recycling," for increased research funding, and for increasing the use of recyclates through public procurement. RESAG also proposes unspecified minimum recycling quotas for plastics that should apply throughout the EU. According to RESAG, this should be preceded by a potential and impact assessment. Further demands of the working group to strengthen plastics recycling, which the federal government should speak for at EU level, include the establishment of uniform quality standards and terminology for recyclates, the introduction of digital product passports and the enforcement of the EU-wide landfill ban for plastic waste.
Further information: to download the RESAG final report (in German)