The various measures and legislation, both on European and national levels, where important steps have been taken particularly in the past 12 months, also provide incentives for increased recycling. The European Commission adopted the Circular Economy Package at the end of 2015 in order to support European companies and consumers in the transfer to a more strongly cycle-oriented economy. The package aims to contribute to completing the circle of the product lifespan cycle through more re-use and recycling, offering benefits both for the environment and the economy. The Packaging Act is now being put forward in Germany after numerous amendments to the Packaging Ordinance. After an agreement between the states regarding the originally planned law on recyclable materials was not possible, the Packaging Act now concentrates on further development of the Packaging Ordinance. Among other things the law prescribes substantially higher recycling quotas for packaging that is licensed and collected in the dual systems. Recyclability is also taken into account to a greater extent, aiming for improved material recycling.
Legislation can make access to the recycling economy easier, but the sector still needs to be sensitised to the topic. Proof of how innovative recycling and recycling products are can be found, for example, in the competition ‘Best Recycled Plastics Product’, held by EPRO (The European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations) since 2009. The aim of the competition is to strengthen public consciousness and showcase the latest innovations and product designs. Progress in the use of recycled plastic is also taken into account here, giving the industry the opportunity to display its commitment to the area of ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’. This year manufacturers are again invited to submit their products – the winners will be announced in February 2017 at IdentiPlast in Austria.