Until the mid-1950s, plastics were precious commodities that were used and treated carefully. But in just 65 years, plastic production has increased by 18,300 per cent – fuelling a relentless convenience lifestyle that produces enormous and unnecessary quantities of waste.
The global trade in plastic waste has mirrored the growth in global plastic production, allowing high income, high-consuming countries to avoid the direct social and environmental impacts of their plastic problem and driving the ever-expanding production and consumption of virgin (new) plastics.
A new report from the Ecologic Institute, commissioned by the Rethink Plastic alliance outlines why extended producer responsibility and “ecomodulation”- charging differentiated fees based on the sustainability of a product or packaging – can be a key opportunity for waste prevention across Europe.
Circular Economy Portugal’s study on making the case for packaging reuse systems forms the basis for the Rethink Plastic alliance and Break Free From Plastic’s Realising Reuse report. The study includes an outline of barriers and opportunities for reusable packaging, priority product groups, potential to scale up to reuse for key groups, main business and environmental drivers and policy recommendations.
Based on a study conducted by Circular Economy Portugal, the Realising Reuse report highlights the capacity for reuse to thrive with the right sector specific targets, policy frameworks, contributing significantly to circular economy and Paris Agreement objectives, while saving companies and consumers money.