COMMENT
Pro EU plastics tax: “The plastics tax – an important impulse” / Tomasz Mikulski, ML Polyolefins
The EU’s approach is clearly aimed at maximising mechanical recycling for plastics introduced into the recycling system. The levy of EUR 0.80 per kg of non-recycled plastic packaging as of 1 January 2021 (see Plasteurope.com of 28.07.2020 and 22.07.2020) is therefore an important impulse to finally shake up many brand owners, but also packaging manufacturers. However, this tax also forces the individual EU member states to take more decisive measures at the state level to implement a functioning circular economy.

As a recycler specialising in polypropylene and HDPE, we are currently receiving many requests to evaluate the recyclability of products currently on the market. For certain sectors, the relatively short deadline can become a problem; especially for large companies with a wide range of products, the switch to recycled plastics is a major challenge. How long it will take them to change their packaging and whether sufficient quantities of recycled material will be available are other questions.

The new levy will definitely help reduce the volume of plastic products that only have a short life span. The prerequisite, however, is that the quality of waste sorting is improved, for example here in Poland. In other words, if households do not already separate properly, we as recyclers have additional problems in producing high-quality recycled materials with stable parameters. An additional barrier for the use of recycled material is of course the currently higher price compared to new material.

In recent years, our industry has invested a lot in modern technologies. As a result, we are able to produce high-quality recycled materials in Poland that have a chance to compete with virgin materials. We are seeing growing exports of Polish manufacturers abroad, not only to the Far Eastern markets, but also to Western Europe. The Polish recycling industry has a much shorter history than in the western part of the continent, but we are catching up quickly. One example is our company, which supplies customers in Austria, the Benelux region, France, Germany, the UK and even overseas.

The plastics tax is therefore an important impulse to meet the EU’s required recycling quotas!

Tomasz Mikulski

Arguing against an EU plastics tax is Hannes Meier, CEO of M2 Consulting (Hartkirchen / Austria; www.m2consulting.at). His opinion: “We need a European plastics Marshall Plan” (see Plasteurope.com of 04.09.2020).

Tomasz Mikulski is the managing director of Polish plastics recycler ML Polyolefins (Elblag / Poland; www.mlpolyolefins.com).
04.09.2020 Plasteurope.com [245694-0]
Published on 04.09.2020

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