The PET industry in the circular economy: Best practices for harmonised collection and sorting

Wednesday 20 March 2019 | 12:00 to 14:00
European Parliament Member Salon | Parliamentary Lunch Discussion
Hosted by Mark Demesmaeker MEP

Petcore Europe, in association with the Parliament Magazine, are holding a follow-up event to the February breakfast briefing focusing on the practical implications of the PET recyclers’ annual overcapacity of more than 250.000 tonnes. This discussion is taking place in the European Parliament on Wednesday 20 March 2019 and is kindly hosted by Mark Demesmaeker MEP.

PET (PolyEthylene Terephthalate) is a strong but lightweight form of polyester. It is used to make containers for soft drinks, juices, drinks, water, edible oil, fresh food and dairy as well as household cleaners and other non-food applications. PET bottles and food containers such as sheets and trays are perfectly recyclable while they help to reduce CO2 emissions and food waste. The entire PET industry has set itself ambitious targets and is committed to increase its role in the circular economy. To fulfil the targets, help from EU policymakers is needed.

The PET industry set itself the objective to recycle 100% of all collected PET packaging material by 2030. This commitment is however undermined by proposed reduction targets for PET food containers in the Single Use Plastics Directive. European PET recyclers currently lack material to reprocess, to an extent that there is an unused capacity of 296.400 tonnes which can be caused by numerous reasons, one of them being the quality of the collected PET. Moreover, insufficient quantity of collection can be observed - a lack of 115.000 tonnes in 2017. Increased collection and sorting of PET bottles and trays would therefore ensure sustainability and circularity of plastics.

While the PET industry has been working on design for recycling for the past years, collection and sorting of PET containers still lacks effectiveness in several EU member states – for this reason the PET industry urges EU policymakers to help set up EU-wide harmonised collection and sorting systems.

We will hear from:

  • Mark Demesmaeker MEP
  • Maria Spyraki MEP
  • Grzegorz Radziejewski, Member of Cabinet of Jyrki Katainen, Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness
  • Christian Crépet, Executive Director, Petcore Europe
  • Patrick Laevers & An Vossen, Plarebel
  • Gian De Belder, Principal Scientist Sustainable Packaging Development, Procter & Gamble
  • Wolfgang Ringel, Senior Vice President, Tomra

The event will be moderated by Robin Latchem

To register your interest, please contact | 0044 207 593 5560 | 0032 2 741 82 14.

This event is supported by Petcore Europe

Petcore Europe has been representing the entire value chain of the European PET industry since 1993. In its working groups the association works continuously with all stakeholders to improve recyclability, the uptake of recycled content in PET packaging as well as harmonised collection and sorting to make PET circular.

For further information, please visit:

Join the conversation: @Parlimag | @petcoreeurope | #CircularPET

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Date & time
20/03/2019 11:00:00 - 20/03/2019 13:00:00
European Parliament, Brussels