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European Plastic Pact to tackle plastic waste

06 Mar 2020

TNO signed up to the European Plastic Pact. TNO has already signed the Dutch Plastic Pact in 2019. The aim of the Dutch Plastic Pact is to reach a 20% reduction in plastic by 2025 and more recycling and sustainable alternatives for plastics. TNO is actively contributing to the Dutch Plastic Pact and is ready to contribute to the European Plastic Pact.

TNO aims collaborating to the European Plastic Pact by applying knowledge and technology developed at TNO in collaboration with key stakeholders in the areas of:

  • Development of depolymerization and dissolution technologies for a wide range of materials such as multilaterals (known as multilayers) for packaging, electronic plastics and composites in which, polymers or monomers can be separated from additives such as flame retardants;
  • Development of technologies on thermochemical recycling: most promising for mixed, highly contaminated waste streams;
  • Design for circularity of less complex materials and drive to simplify packaging and plastic products;
  • Deployment of LCA and LCC assessment for various recycling options to support (policy) decisions;

Plastic waste is a global problem

The European Plastic Pact is an extension to the Dutch Plastic Pact. It is a Dutch initiative in collaboration with other Member States, e.g. France and Denmark. The main goal of this pact is to tackle plastic waste. This pact engages EU member states as well as the whole value chain of plastics. The main beneficiary is society and the environment, by reducing littering and CO2 emissions. This is because plastic waste is a global problem, as volume produced does not keep pace with volumes of plastics being recycled.

This means a significant proportion of our plastic waste is still being incinerated or goes to landfills, which negatively affect carbon emissions. Another part ends up as litter in our environment, where it may harm wildlife or degrade into potentially harmful microplastics. While all this valuable material is being wasted, the proportion of fossil fuel being used to produce new plastics continues to grow.  

Alliances to tackle plastic waste

TNO is engaged in different national and international  initiatives and alliances to tackle plastic waste, for instance Circular Plastic Alliance, Dutch Plastic Pact and now the European Plastic Pact. In the European Plastic Pact, the excessive use of plastic will also be tackled (reduction) which is also a very important component of Circular Economy.

TNO will deploy knowledge on:

  • Support reviewing main sustainability indicators to tackle all unnecessary use of plastics
  • Collaborating on the deployment of recycling technologies to various waste streams
  • Design for circularity of less complex materials and drive to simplify packaging and plastic products
  • Deployment of LCA and LCC assessment for various recycling options to support decisions
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