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The wide-ranging manifesto, written by leading trade bodies PlasticsEurope and EuPC, makes recommendations to policymakers, seeking their support for the industry’s competitiveness which they claim is under threat from regulation, high energy costs and negative perceptions.
Patrick Thomas, president of PlasticsEurope and CEO of Bayer MaterialScience, said at a press conference in Brussels that the manifesto's issues are familiar: "What's new is that it's the entire plastics industry... getting together and bringing our combined forces to bear on the new [European] Commission."
The manifesto outlines challenges for the European plastics industry in five key areas: energy and raw materials, where costs are high in comparison with the U.S. and its shale gas boom; maintaining a skilled workforce when the number of science graduates and technical apprentices is declining; future EU investments in infrastructure and new production facilities; the lack of harmonized chemicals legislation across EU countries; and challenges of waste management, with wide variation of recycling and recovery rates across the EU.
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