Juni 2018

PlasticsEurope: Schwerpunkt Ressourceneffizienz

Plastics are key enablers of a Circular Economy, directly facilitating the circularity of products and improving resource efficiency and sustainability along the value chain.

Plastics have a positive impact on a range of circularity levers across product life cycles, including:

  • Materials efficiency.
  • Energy efficiency.
  • CO2 reduction.
  • Recyclability.
  • Durability.
  • Biodegradability.

Improving resource efficiency in key industries

Plastics play a major role in facilitating circularity in some of today’s most important industries. You can read more about the specific ways in which plastics improve resource efficiency in these industries here:

Improving resource efficiency at the end-of-life phase

At the end-of-life phase, plastics remain too valuable a resource to be simply thrown away. If Europe was to exploit the full potential of plastics waste still landfilled, applying today’s best recycling and energy recovery practices and technologies in an eco-efficient* manner, this could lead to: 

  • 5 million tons of plastics additionally recycled, preventing the emission of 7 million tons per year of CO2 (equivalent to taking 2.4 million cars off the road).

An additional generation of 300 TWh of heat and electricity, equivalent to 23% of Europe’s gas imports from Russia**.
Such improvements will require appropriate actions to stop landfilling of plastics (and other recyclable and recoverable post-consumer waste) and the establishment of recovery-oriented collection schemes. These will need to be aligned with modern sorting infrastructure and improved recycling and recovery processes in order to exploit the fullest potential of this precious resource. Furthermore, a focus on high quality will stimulate markets for the more resource-efficient use of end-of-life plastics throughout Europe.

PlasticsEurope is committed to supporting such developments with its specialist expertise through an open dialogue with all relevant stakeholders and the general public, supported by fact-based information.