“The voyage we are on is towards a more circular economy, a more sustainable future.” The words of EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, at today’s Reinventing Plastics – Closing the Circle conference in Brussels.

Industry leaders and policy makers gathered in the Belgian capital to discuss and debate ideas that could be incorporated in the ‘EU action plan for the Circular Economy’, specifically relating to the strategy on plastics.

“Today we are told that only 30% of plastic waste, and 40% of plastic packaging waste, is being recycled. That figure needs to rise,” Vella said. He also told delegates that the EU is well “on the way towards delivering on an ambitious strategy” to improve the situation.

“President Juncker said it clearly in his State of the Union Address. Namely, that we will work towards all plastic packaging on the EU market being recyclable by 2030,” he added.

Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, got a flavour of public opinion this morning when he was presented with a petition signed by more than half a million EU citizens, all calling for effective action to deal with the scourge of plastic waste.