14 Nov 2018

Announcement about single-use plastics ban backed by European Parliament

On 24 October 2018 the European Parliament has backed a ban on certain single-use plastic items.

Under this proposed directive, if endorsed by EU Member States, items such as plastic plates, plastic cutlery and plastic stirrers ( among others), described by the European commission as to be "responsible" for the pollution in seas, shores and waterways , would be banned from sale by 2021 within the EU.

The proposed legislation has to be fully discussed and negotiated within the Council with every single Member State, before it becomes law. Using a simile, this directive is like a picture frame. Every single Member State can add a brushstroke or erase a detail. It will be prerogative of every Country to make amendments to the proposed legislation.

Aristea, although fully supporting the essential inspirations set out in the European Directive, such as the reduction of the impact of certain single-use plastic items on the environment, in particular on the oceans and on human health, loudly questions the method applied and the conclusions drawn.

It is proper for us to shed some light on this issue: plates, cutlery and plastic stirrers are not even listed among the top ten items washed ashore (Source The Marine LitterWatch (MLW) of European Environment Agency (EEA) published on 01 June 2018.)

The European Environment Agency (EEA) is a EU agency whose duty is to provide independent and qualified information on the environment, and as indicated in their institutional web-site: " The EEA is an EU agency tasked with providing sound, independent information on the environment. It operates as major information source for those involved in developing, adopting, implementing and evaluating environmental policy, and also the general public "

The data collected fully exonerate our products: none of the items manufactured by us appears in the list of the first ten items most found:

Furthermore, very explanatory is the graph below, which shows – starting from the data provided by EEA- how the products manufactured by us are ranked in the list of objects found: :

In addition, sea pollution is by 90% attributable to rivers in Asia and Africa.

Single- use plastic is not "THE PROBLEM", at least not the single-use product in itself!

In fact, traditional polymers of mineral origin can be 100% recycled. We need to look at them as a resource for numberless reuses. We all need to aim at realizing and applying a circular model for the single-use plastic, improving its recyclability, its recycled content in terms of quantity and quality, its collection and its reuse, with the utmost attention to safety and to the end-user health.

We shall never forget that single-use plastic items are the safest and the cheapest option. They ensure hygiene and mechanical resistance.

This is fundamental for Aristea. We all need to promote a transition towards a circular economy with innovative and reusable materials.

Aristea embarked on this path already in 2008, setting up a plant designed to PET processing. In 2009 we started the production of recyclable items in PET; in 2012 we launched a range of products in R-PET (inner layer of recycled PET covered by a barrier of virgin PET); in 2018 we are proud to launch a new range of biodegradable compostable products in PLA and plant fibres (Naturia Bio).

The reduction of the environmental impact of plastic is a virtuous action that Aristea has been taking in the past ten years.

It is evident when we take into consideration the recap of the quantities of RECYCLED post-consumption material that we have re-used in our plants during the last three-year period:

  • 2016: 670 Tons
  • 2017 : 1,687 Tons
  • Projection 2018: 2,200 Tons

Aristea strongly believes that we must strive to achieve the recyclability of the product and work together with all the players involved in the production, distribution and consumption chain to every initiative aiming at the development of the recycling of our products.

The key words of Aristea for the future will be:

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