European Parliament votes to ‘greenwash’ recycled content in latest resolution on Single-Use Plastic Directive accounting method, say environmental NGOs

Brussels, 24 April 2024
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In a decisive move, the European Parliament rejected a crucial resolution on the Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2023/2683 which aims to establish a clear methodology for calculating recycled plastic content in single-use plastics.

In this resolution, the European Parliament invites the Commission to adopt a recycled content calculation methodology ensuring priority for mechanical over chemical recycling. Zero Waste Europe, ECOS, and the Rethink Plastic alliance are baffled by the European Parliament’s failure to back the ENVI committee’s call for robust sustainability safeguards for defining recycled content. The environmental groups highlight that such short-sightedness undermines the provisions on recycled content accounting that were approved in the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) the same day in the plenary. 

The European Parliament rejected a much-needed proposal to clarify the recycling technology hierarchy, failing to introduce rigorous safeguards in the definition of recycled content and not protecting the recycling industry from unfair imports of recycled plastics in the EU. 

“The European Parliament today may as well have voted blindfolded. They have ignored the loud and clear concerns of environmentalist voices. By rejecting this resolution, MEPs are essentially handing European consumers an umbrella full of holes in a rainstorm of greenwashing. It’s more than a missed opportunity–it’s a direct hit against consumers, SMEs, and local recycling businesses.”

Lauriane Veillard, Chemical Recycling and Plastic-to-Fuels Policy Officer at Zero Waste Europe

“The European Parliament has just opened the door for companies to cook the books on plastic for the SUPD and other future European implementing acts on recycled content. This decision will trigger a cascade of misleading green claims on recycled plastics.”

Mathilde Crêpy, Head of Environmental Transparency at Environmental Coalition on Standards


Media Contact: 

  • For Zero Waste Europe:
    Sean Flynn, Media Outreach Officer |  +32 471 96 55 93 | [email protected] 
  • For Rethink Plastic alliance:
    Caroline Will, Communications Coordinator | +32456560705 | [email protected]

About Zero Waste Europe 

Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) is the European network of communities, local leaders, experts, and change agents working towards a better use of resources and the elimination of waste in our society. We advocate for sustainable systems; for the redesign of our relationship with resources; and for a global shift towards environmental justice, accelerating a just transition towards zero waste for the benefit of people and the planet. 

About Rethink Plastic 

Rethink Plastic is an alliance of leading European NGOs, representing thousands of active groups, supporters and citizens in every EU Member State. We are part of the global Break Free From Plastic movement, consisting of over 11,000 organisations and individuals worldwide demanding an end to plastic pollution. 

About Environmental Coalition on Standards

ECOS, Environmental Coalition on Standards, is an international NGO with a network of members and experts advocating for environmentally friendly technical standards, policies and laws. We ensure the environmental voice is heard when they are developed and drive change by providing expertise to policymakers and industry players, leading to the implementation of strong environmental principles. .

Rethink Plastic