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Could Innovative Plastics be in Line for Procurement Boost in Europe?

9 October 2018

On 3-5 October 2018, the PlastiCircle project was present at the EcoProcura conference for public procurement and innovation professionals from around Europe.

Projects such as PlastiCircle and CIRC-PACK, another Horizon 2020 project aiming for a circular economy for plastic packaging, were represented among a clutch of circular economy experts looking to assess future opportunities for future innovative products, including high-quality recycled and bio-based plastics.

EcoProcura, held in Nijmegen in the Netherlands, was a timely reminder that public procurement accounts for some 14 per cent of GDP in the European Union, and as such represents a sizeable potential market for materials with sound environmental credentials.

According to Dr John Watt, sustainable economy and procurement officer at ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, public procurement could have an “important role” in enabling the transition from single-use plastic and fossil resource-based plastics – currently an imperative at the European level.

“In addition to packaging, plastics are used extensively for products in sectors such as furniture, electronics and construction,” added Dr Watt.

“If public authorities set procurement requirements for plastics to include an amount of recycled and bio-based content, it would help boost the market demand for such solutions.”

The pan-European PlastiCircle project, which aims to develop new added-value, recycled plastic products for the market, will continue to monitor developments in public procurement at the European level.