Brussels – ISOPA, the European diisocyanates and polyol producers association, has welcomed European Commission proposals to develop a circular economy, but has conditions.
In a document ISOPA said: “Europe faces unprecedented economic, social, environmental and geopolitical challenges, political leaders agree: our society must move away from the linear model and transition towards a circular economy.”
“Europe must stop wasting resources,” it adds.
ISOPA’s preferred route would see different extended producer responsibility schemes for different waste streams. But, the organisation warns “these must focus on the real end-of-life costs and priority should be given to prevent waste and reduce the impact of products through their life cycle.”
ISOPA suggests that the wide range of polyurethane applications it benefit “a myriad” of sectors and it will “play a key role in contributing to a circular economy in Europe.”
“Plastics are too valuable to waste and must be diverted out of landfill,” ISOPA said, and called on Member States to develop sustainable systems to reduce waste and increase recycling.
However, such recycling must be sustainable, ISOPA warns. There must be waste of sufficiently high quality for it to work, the organisation said. It added that the transportation, and the process of recycling must not impose higher economic and environmental burdens.
Waste reduction and increased recycling should be done in tandem with “high-efficiency waste-to-capabilities,” ISOPA said. This will help society solve the problem of low-grade or badly mixed waste streams and also help strengthen Europe’s energy independence.
Feedstock recycling should be supported possibly through gasification or pyrolysis to develop new raw material streams, but these solutions will need financial help to make them economically viable, the document said.