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New report "Plastics The Facts 2023": Circular plastics share on the rise

According to the report, 37.8 million tonnes of circular plastics were produced globally from bio-based and recycled raw materials in 2022.


With a 9.5 per cent share of global plastics production of 400.3 million tonnes, circular plastics production reached a new record high in 2022, according to the report by Plastics Europe, the association of European plastics manufacturers. Global plastics production increased slightly in 2022 with a plus of 2.5 per cent compared to the previous year. In Europe, the share of circular plastics in total plastics production of 58.7 million tonnes (2021: 60.8 million tonnes) is double the global figure at 19.5 per cent, according to the report. "It is clearly visible that the transformation to a circular economy with plastics is progressing, despite very difficult market conditions," explains Ingemar Bühler, CEO of Plastics Europe Deutschland (PED). In order to reconcile economic growth and climate protection and to move forward on the path, the industry in Germany and Europe needed political course, says Bühler. This applies to the national circular economy strategy, the EU Packaging Regulation, the Ecodesign Directive and also to the UN Marine Convention. Bettina Dempewolf, Head of Communications at PED, adds: "We are communicating very clearly that we as an industry have set out on the path and are serious about the transformation to a fossil-free circular economy with plastics. In plain language: the growth in circular plastics exceeds that of fossil plastics by a factor of 16. Nearly ten per cent of global plastics production is now based on circular raw materials." The industry is on a promising path towards a climate-neutral circular economy, says Bühler. But without political support in the form of incentives and investment programmes, companies would still be making too slow progress under the current competitive conditions: "The German government must now take targeted measures to enable investment in environmentally friendly technologies and promote the use of circular plastics." There was no time to lose in this, because the groundbreaking investment decisions are being made now, Bühler points out the urgency of the situation from the association's point of view. The European plastics industry would be a leader in the development of circular plastics technologies, for example in chemical recycling, but in danger of losing out in global competition. Within a decade, its share of global plastics production had fallen from 28 per cent in 2002 to 14 per cent in 2022. This development is said to be largely due to high energy prices, high regulations and limited access to raw materials.
For more information: download the executive summary "Plastics - the fast Facts 2023"

  • Pressrelease Plastics Europe Germany (19.10.2023)
  • Graphic: © Plastics Europe Germany

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