“Today’s announcement reiterates how out of touch the European Commission is with public opinion. Consumers are looking for immediate action to combat the growing issue of plastic waste. Just today we’ve witnessed one major UK supermarket committing to the reality of plastic-free packaging and further investment by the EC in plastic research will simply not suffice. In fact, this investment could present potentially serious consequences for competing materials and technologies that may even significantly delay the move to a truly operational circular economy.

We agree that to initiate real change within the industry, measures must be introduced – but why has the European Commission not recognised that this is required outside of the plastic industry. Mr Timmerman and the EC appear to have missed a significant opportunity to drive a tangible low-carbon circular economy, by developing the strategy in silos of plastics rather than within a holistic, systemic view.

We know that plastics clearly have a valuable role to play in society today, but we hoped to see more action taken to reduce plastic packaging waste entirely either by taxation of by providing incentives to other more sustainable materials. Unfortunately, as feared, the strategy has favoured the continued, unnecessary use of plastics when more sustainable, renewable and biodegradable materials such as cartonboard are readily available on the market. It is now over to the brand owners and retailers to assess the suitability of the many alternative materials available ranging from paper based to glass and metal to help save the future of our planet.”

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