Nov 30

Plastics Weekly: Big Drink Firms Face EU-Wide Complaint Over Recycling Claims

Editorial Staff
Nov 13, 2023

Welcome to the Plastics Weekly, NEO’s regular news monitoring of the plastics industry.

This week’s highlights:

  • Big drinks companies face an EU-wide complaint over allegedly misleading customers with claims that their plastic water bottles are fully recycled or recyclable. The formal complaint was issued by consumer groups to the European Commission. The Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs (BEUC) said claims that water bottles from brands owned by Coca-Cola, Danone and Nestlé are “100% recyclable” or “100% recycled” are misleading because recycling rates are far lower in practice and bottles contain items that cannot be made from recycled material. (The Guardian)
  • New plastics “offsets” are becoming the next frontier in controversial green claims. Some of the world’s biggest consumer companies are boasting a new environmental claim: net zero plastics, or “plastic neutral,” by which they mean their businesses don’t add to plastic pollution. Like the more familiar “carbon neutral,” it’s not as simple as it sounds, because companies haven’t wiped plastic from their manufacturing process. Instead, like CO2 emitters, some companies are turning to offsets, a credit which, in this case, is supposed to represent a ton of plastic waste collected and processed by a third party elsewhere in the world. (Bloomberg)
  • Production limits are set to become a point of contention among delegates at the UN global plastics treaty talks. As the world’s nations enter another round of talks this week on creating a first-ever treaty to contain plastic pollution, officials are bracing for tough negotiations over whether to limit the amount of plastic being produced or just to focus on the management of waste. Working with a document called a “zero draft” that lists possible policies and actions to consider, national delegates to the weeklong meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, will be debating which of those options to include in what eventually would become a legally binding treaty by the end of 2024. (Reuters)

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