The Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC) aims to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy for plastics. An integrated approach aimed at pioneering innovation and cooperation is required and more urgent than ever. Primarily from an environmental perspective, at the same time the transition provides ample economic opportunities across the entire value chain.
In the publication ‘Transition time! A circular economy for plastics’, the coalition sheds light on the challenges of plastic, shares innovative cases and makes specific recommendations on how to incentivise action. This publication was presented to the Dutch cabinet and Frans Timmermans, European Commission Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, on 13 January by Jan Peter Balkenende, Chair of DSGC.
‘A transition of this magnitude requires shared values and a willingness of various partners to create a responsible society that views plastic as a resource, and not as waste, which is far too often the case right now,’ said Jan Peter Balkenende.
As he accepted the publication, Frans Timmermans agreed that tackling the issue of plastic must be a concerted effort. 'This publication is urgently needed: we want to significantly reduce the amount of plastics needed and reduce the amount of plastics that are incinerated in the EU. We must also bridge the difference between virgin plastics and recycled plastics. We will adress these matters by revising varioud guidelines.'
The potential benefits of a transition are huge. A circular economy will dramatically reduce the amount of plastic in the environment. Energy and water consumption will also decrease significantly, as will CO2 emissions. We already have various technologies available that could be used to create innovative applications to retain the value of plastics as a secondary raw material.
The research shows that cooperation between governments, knowledge institutions, societal organisations and the business sector is crucial to close the loop. In the publication the members of DSGC describe innovative cases from their own practice that illustrate how they joined forces with stakeholders to actually help closing the loop. This knowledge and experience can be a source of inspiration for other companies to also invest in a circular economy. To grow initiatives into impactful sustainable solutions, both harmonised policies & effective legal frameworks are of great importance, for which the DSGC shares specific recommendations. 'The technology is here, now it comes down to joint action', said Jan Peter Balkenende.