Danes are getting better at sorting plastic waste
A new packaging statistics presented by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that the Danes over several years sort significantly more plastic for recycling. For the period 2014 to 2017, there has been an increase in both real quantities and the proportion of plastic collected for recycling. During the period 2014-17, the collection of plastic has increased from 57,635 tonnes to 83,833 tonnes, an increase of 45%. This is the first time ever that such a significant improvement has been made in this area over a number of years, commented the Minister of the Environment, Lea Wermelin.
"It is an important step on the road to a greener future that it appears that much more plastic waste is now being sorted. And it shows that the Danes want to help make a green difference. But we are still incredibly far from the finish line. We and other countries have become accustomed to burning our plastic waste, so it takes a great deal of effort to transition to more recycling and recycling," said the minister.
The EU has set ambitious targets for the recycling of plastic packaging waste. This means that all EU countries will have to recycle 50% of plastic packaging waste by 2025. At the same time, the calculation method will be changed so that the non-recyclable plastic waste must be deducted. This means that the recycling rate for plastic packaging waste in Denmark will fall from the current recycling rate of 42% in 2017 to around 21%, because plastic packaging waste is difficult to fully recycle. This is because many plastic products are not designed to be recycled.
"We are far from green dolls in Denmark when it comes to waste. On the contrary. But the solution, of course, is not to stop sorting plastic waste, even if we are not far enough. The solution is that we have to use fewer types of plastic and that the products are designed for recycling. I have submitted a bill to the hearing that takes the first step towards requiring manufacturers to design products that can be recycled and reused," the environment minister says.
The bill, which has been submitted for consultation, takes the first steps to introduce expanded producer responsibility for packaging in Denmark. Extended producer responsibility means that the companies that sell packaging are also responsible for the packaging being recycled when it becomes waste.
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