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News | 2021-01-28
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New EEA report: The EU needs a circular plastics economy

Solving the problems of plastic pollution requires smarter plastic use, increased circularity and a significant increase in the use of renewable raw materials. We need a circular plastics economy. This is the conclusion of the European Environment Agency EEA in a new report to which several of IVL’s waste experts have contributed.

Efforts to reduce the use of plastic have been on hold the past year. The corona pandemic has led to a sharp increase in demand for disposable plastic items. According to the WHO, each month 89 million face masks, 76 million disposable gloves and 1.6 million safety goggles are needed globally to counter the spread of infection.

– Disposable plastic products play an important role in preventing the spread of covid-19, but heightened demand for these articles also challenges EU efforts to limit plastic pollution and adopt a more sustainable and circular plastics system, at least in the short term, says Tobias Nielsen at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

Three paths toward a circular plastics economy

The EEA report identifies three ways forward: the smarter use of plastics, increased circularity and the use of renewable raw materials. Together, these approaches can contribute to creating a sustainable and circular system for plastics use.

– There is no single simple solution that will allow us to tackle the challenges of plastic waste. This issue must be addressed from a wide variety of different angles. This report provides an excellent overview of the problems and their solutions from a European perspective, says Tobias Nielsen.

Read the report here External link, opens in new window.

For more information, please contact:
Tobias Nielsen, tobias.nielsen@ivl.se, +46 (0)107886529

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Last updated: 2021-03-10

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

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IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute has a wide environmental profile. We combine applied research and development with close collaboration between industry and the public sphere. Our consultancy is evidence-based, and our research is characterized by interdisciplinary science and system thinking.


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