The overall objectives of Plastic Zero were to reduce wasteful use of fossil-based plastics, save non-renewable resources, and enable carbon neutral energy production from waste.
Activities aimed to: identify the main challenges and barriers for reducing waste plastics in the residual waste stream, promote recycling of plastic polymers, and divert waste plastics from incineration and landfill.
Involving stakeholders in creating solutions
An important feature of Plastic Zero was to set up collaborative forums involving public and private stakeholders. Involvement of all types of stakeholders from the value chain in finding solutions gave innovative opportunities to rethink product and system designs.
The Plastic Zero project delivered a number of recommendations and practical guides which can be developed further or adapted to fit specific purposes and contexts. These include:
* a Road Map – a structured approach comprising mapping of issues as well as iterative learning processes, road mapping aims at identifying economically and socially viable solutions
* Green Public Procurement Manual on Plastic Waste Prevention – a tool for public procurement officers and purchasers containing copy-and-paste criteria to prevent plastic waste
* Recyclability of Plastic Packaging – an easy-to-use guide for buyers and designers of packaging
* Carbon Black Plastics – a booklet which sums up the issues concerning black plastics and gives inspiration for environmentally friendly alternatives.
* Layman’s Report and, along with it, awareness of the issues concerning waste plastics, as well as tips on how to tackle it. Main target groups are local authorities, regional waste authorities, producer responsibility organisations and any other actors with the capacity to take regulatory initiatives targeting waste plastics. The report is available in English, German, Finnish and Latvian from the website. More reports are available at www.plastic-zero.com
Plastic Zero is a 3-year LIFE+ project started September 2011 and finalised August 2014. Partners were three cities, three waste management companies and one university.