09 May 2022

Written by

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

Chemical recycling should not undermine the setting of a truly circular economy 

Chemical recyclingClimate, Energy & Air PollutionWaste Policy

Promoters of chemical ‘recycling’ define these new technologies as an enabling factor for a circular plastic economy. However, many uncertainties remain and a growing number of questions are being raised – notably regarding the environmental and health impact of these processes and their outputs. 

We will only achieve a truly circular economy if we do not fall into lock-in effect solutions, and if we take strong stands to scale up in the waste hierarchy. The chemical ‘recycling’ push should not divert our attention from the real solution to plastic pollution – which are reduction, prevention and reuse practices.

The “Setting a truly circular recycling system” pledge is a call to the European institutions to create a legislative framework for chemical recycling based on precautionary principle, transparency, as well as social and environmental justice.

Be sure to read it, sign it, and spread the word!