The environmental, health and economic implications caused by certain types of plastic products that either do not properly biodegrade or whose biodegradation is not possible in the existing waste management infrastructures of a country, are considerable, and require a targeted legal framework to address them.

In the case of Israel, the EU-funded WES project is to work hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP), which aspires to align as much as possible with the EU Plastics Strategy, and develop policy guidelines aiming to regulate and manage the use of various plastic polymers and products including mixtures, colors and additives that are disruptive to the sorting, recycling and upcycling of plastics (packaging and non-packaging) in the country.

The activity formally kicked-off on the 21st of July 2022, with a meeting that presented the objectives, planned activities and expected results to more than 35 participants from various departments of the MoEP, other ministries and related government agencies, the plastics recycling industry, and other stakeholders.

The first step will be to assess the current practices and future trends in the plastics market regarding specific polymers (oxo-degradable plastics, biodegradable, compostable plastics, multilayer packaging, additives, etc.), both in packaging and non-packaging, and the difficulties created by these polymers to the sorting and recycling processes. Based on the results, the WES team of experts will in a few months’ time propose to the MoEP a set of policy recommendations and a road map based on a comparative study of redesign, sorting and recycling techniques, Best Available Techniques (BAT) along with BAT Reference Documents (BREFs), international and EU policies.

The final recommendations and road map will be shared with the stakeholders to achieve as wide consensus as possible.

The activity is expected to conclude in about a year’s time.