Plastic Waste in the Environment (Green Paper)

The European Commission wants to reduce the amount of plastic waste and the resulting burden on the environment. It is considering promoting the recycling of plastic waste in preference to energy recovery and use of landfill. In addition, it is considering a general ban on using landfill for plastic waste. By way of requirements placed on product design, manufacturers are to be obliged to increase the reparability and re-usability of plastic products.


The principal aim of waste management policy must be compliance with existing EU law in all Member States. The waste hierarchy of the Waste Framework Directive already obliges the Member States to regard the use of landfill only as a final resort for disposing of plastics. A general ban on landfill and the imposition of targets for recycling plastic waste is therefore misguided. Product design rules based on the Ecodesign Directive massively restrict the supplier's design possibilities and the consumer's freedom of choice.