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EU Bans and the Rise of Circular Economy From It
To tackle the global challenges facing the world, many solutions have been adopted. In the
current situation the world is facing with plastics, recycling them is not enough. The circular
economy method of taking it back to the manufacturing of plastics is believed to be the best
method of decreasing the amount of plastic waste in Europe and abroad.
European Union’s directive 2019 ban of single-use plastics as of the 3rd of July 2021 is a step
forward in the fight against the challenges the world is facing. It has effectively come into
full force and will make significant progress in the fields of recycling and plastic waste.
Everyday items such as coffee cups, plastic cutlery, cotton buds, and plastics straws will be
banned and no longer be manufactured and used in European countries. The directive was
supported by the majority of the MEPs when the voting was underway. The member states of
the MEPs will have to adopt many new solutions and targets. Targets such as each member
state will have to achieve 90% of the collection target for plastic bottles by 2029 and will also
have to achieve a target of the plastic bottles to be 25% of recycled content by 2025.
The ban also refers to The EU Action Plan for circular economy in 2015. The ban on single-
use products will bring the manufactures back to the production of plastics. In circular
economy the production of plastics has had a major impact on how the reuse and recycling of
a product are being done.
The ban is effectively playing a major role in the new design of plastics. The manufactures
must decide on a new design that will help reach the targets implemented by the ban. A new
design of the product can make the product easier to repair and reuse, overall resulting in less
plastic waste. The circular economy redesigns being adopted by governments and institutions
are seen to be effective in the reduction of plastic waste but to reach the goal of less plastic
waste, circular economy must use technologies to help with the decrease, such as chemical
recycling. This method is often used in circular economy, by using this process, plastics
packaging is turned to chemical products, which avoids the plastic production originating
from fossil food stock. The use of chemical recycling in circular economy is used and has
been recorded to stop the demand for fossils resources but also has decreased the number of
emissions from greenhouse gases.
Materials are being manufactured today and are taken from the environment, this process will
not last for longer and will damage the progress being made for a sustainable future. The
circular economy process of how it deals with materials may not be a completely effective
method but the materials that are being re-manufactured and reused are effective, in the past
we have seen materials being reused as a source of energy if needed.
The support for a circular economy transition has grown larger and to address plastic
pollution, organisations across the world are now tackling the issue with a circular economy
approach. International organisations are now calling on the United Nations (UN) to propose
a new treaty that welcomes and supports a transition to a circular economy for plastics. The
Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) and 1000+ organisations have taken the steps forward to
support and promote the vision of a circular economy for plastics. However, it is believed
that this may not be enough to reach the targets that need to be achieved. It has been
expressed that a global treaty is the right step forward, by having clear and global goals,
together the targets can be reached.
The EMF states that a UN treaty could bring policies and ideas together, improve investment
planning and encourage innovation to help tackle the issue of plastic pollution. The UN treaty
has been called upon by the EMF and are urging governments, industry, and civil society to
come together to build the way for a UN treaty and to agree to have a negotiating committee
at UNEA 5.2 in February 2022.
European Parliament, 2019. Parliament seals ban on throwaway plastics by 2021. [online]
Available at: <https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-
3 September 2021].
European Commission, 2015. Closing the loop – An EU action plan for the circular
Meys, R., Frick, F., Westhues, S., Sternberg, A., Klankermayer, J. and Bardow, A., 2020.
Towards a circular economy for plastic packaging wastes – the environmental potential of
chemical recycling. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 162, p.105010.
Emf.org. 2021. New white paper on a UN treaty to address plastic pollution. [online]
Available at: <https://emf.org/news/new-white-paper-on-a-un-treaty-to-address-plastic-
pollution?mc_cid=2a23a3e496&mc_eid=1bee58fb9b> [Accessed 13 September 2021].