Mandatory percentage of recycled or bio-based plastic. In the European Union

The Dutch Transition Agenda for Plastics plans to increase the percentage of recyclate and bio-based plastics to 41% recyclate and 15% bio-based plastics by 2030. This is a considerable increase compared to the current shares of approximately 9% recyclate and 1% bio-based. The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management asked CE Delft to study the extent to which a mandatory percentage of recycled and/or bio-based plastics could help achieve this target and to assess the environmental and economic effects. Because this concerns the European market, this study focuses on a European mandatory percentage of recyclate.

A rapid transition towards circular plastics seems possible by introducing an EU-wide mandatory requirement (at polymer level) of 30 to 55% recyclate or bio-based plastics by 2030. It would also make sense to extend producer responsibility to all plastics applications. Design for Recycling and improved collection and sorting can also contribute. Both the broad mandatory requirements and the expansion of producer responsibility will need to be elaborated in more detail.