EU Commission estimates plastic marking costs

Mandatory labelling of plastics to facilitate recycling would cost EU up to euros 950m annually

Making all manufacturers of plastic products mark their goods to allow easier sorting and recycling would cost EU industry euros 730-950m annually, according to a study released by the European Commission.

The report compared the costs of three options for mandatory schemes requiring the polymer type to be stamped or printed on plastic components and products. One was developed by the international standards organisation (ISO); a second was developed by the American plastics industry; the third option considered was a combination of the two.

The study finds similar costs for all three options, but suggests that around euros 200m would be saved if whichever scheme was implemented were introduced over five years rather than immediately. It does not compare the costs of introducing mandatory marking of plastic products with the benefits it would bring by fostering higher recycling levels.

Follow Up:
European Commission, tel: +32 2 299 1111; see also the study, "Financial Costs of Plastics Marking".

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