he report, published by plastics producers' association Plastics Europe, provides information on positive developments.
Virginia Janssens, managing director at Plastics Europe, highlighted at the K 2022 press conference that the European plastics industry was making steady progress in the circular economy. According to "Plastics the Facts 2022," 20 percent more recycled plastics were used in new products in Europe last year than in 2020, and the share of recyclates in new plastic products is now nearly 10 percent, according to the data. According to Plastics Europe, this step forward reflects the efforts the plastics industry is making towards a circular economy. Despite the progress currently being made, however, the report also would show that the systematic change to a circular economy and greenhouse gas neutrality must be accelerated. Solutions that are open to technology are needed, the report says. Chemical recycling was gaining in importance as a complementary tool to mechanical recycling and, from the point of view of European plastics producers, is a decisive lever for increasing the amount of recycled material and achieving greater resource efficiency. Despite a challenging environment with rising prices for energy and raw materials as a result of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, existing and likely future supply shortages, the plastics industry was working relentlessly to further reduce emissions and decouple the production of plastics from fossil raw materials. According to the current report, the production of non-fossil plastics accounted for 12.4 percent of total European plastics production in 2021. The industry is hoping for tailwind for this development from politics. At the presentation of "Plastics - The Facts 2022" in Düsseldorf, Virginia Janssens emphasized the importance of a supportive industrial policy framework: "If we want to make our industry fit for the future, acceptance of chemical recycling, including the mass balance approach, is essential to accelerate the dual transformation of our industry. More intensive and coordinated collaboration across value chains and with policymakers is central to making this happen. Left to their own devices, neither private nor public partners can provide viable solutions to the complex problems of these unprecedented times."
For more information: to download "Plastics the Facts 2022"
- Plasticker (Oct. 17, 2022)
- Photo: © Plastics Europe