Packaging plastics offer an almost infinite range of options for manufacturers in terms of function and design. Their durability and resistance to degradation means that if they ‘leak’ into the environment, they stay there. Leakage has been increasing rapidly and its detrimental impact, especially on the marine environment, has attracted wide public and political concern.
The amount of plastic currently entering the environment far exceeds that which is recycled, with large quantities being exported from Europe to low and middle-income countries that do not have appropriate disposal or recycling facilities: this "low-cost option" is wholly unethical and unsustainable.
This report of the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) is designed to inform the European Commission’s Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy with specific measures on the use of ‘single-use plastics’ so as to reduce plastics leakage into the environment and improve recycling rates. For that purpose, the report reviews the negative consequences of the current linear economy for plastic packaging, the scope for improvement towards a more circular pattern of production and use, and options for increasing recycling rates and reducing environmental leakage.
Edition / Volume: EASAC Policy Report, 39
Pages: v, 66 p.
Standard identifier: ISBN 978-3-8047-4129-4