27 recycled bottles to make a T-shirt

A successful plastics strategy must aim at effective educational and training measures in order to foster respect of the dynamic balance of the biosphere.  In order to make plastics more recyclable and accelerate the transition to a circular economy, it is necessary to create design and behavioural incentives as well as common technical and regulatory standards.

In its opinion on the Commission’s Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy the Committee emphasises plastics recycling as a vital opportunity for sustainable and competitive economic development. Objects made out of plastics must be seen as a valuable raw material which needs to be recovered. We need a European culture of plastic circularity based on an analysis of the entire product lifecycle, said Antonello Pezzini, rapporteur of the opinion, and this will only work with the involvement of citizens and civil society. The advantages of sorting and recycling plastics must become tangible for European citizens.

Micro-plastic – often used in detergents, cosmetics, furniture and paints – needs special attention, since pollution from this source is one of the biggest dangers for the environment and human health.

From PET to yarn

The EESC encourages the separate collection and, in particular, recycling of PET (polyethylene terephthalate), which can create economic benefits in the EU, generating new economic activity and jobs. The transformation of PET into fabric is innovative and environmentally friendly, and ensures quality from production techniques through to design. And the numbers are impressive: it takes only around 27 1.5 litre bottles – approximately the recommended consumption of water of a four-person household per week – to make a fleece sweatshirt. (sma)