Q&A Sustainability

What is done to improve the circularity of plastics in Europe?

Today, in Europe, over 30% of plastic waste is recycled and more than 40% is used to produce energy. Despite that 27% of plastic waste is still landfilled. Packaging is the best performing sector in terms of recycling, with nearly 41% of recycling and only a bit more than 20% landfilling.


In early 2018, plastic raw materials producers committed to reach 60% of re-use and recycling of plastic packaging  by 2030 and achieve 100% of all end-of-life plastics being re-used, recycled or recovered in 2040 (See Plastics 2030 Voluntary Commitment*).


To recycle more, Member States are constantly working to:

  • Stop landfilling of recyclable and other recoverable waste by 2025. This does not only apply to plastics but also other materials.
  • Improve separate collection of bio-waste and dry-recyclables such as plastic packaging.
  • Support innovation in plastics recycling.


In Europe, waste which cannot be recycled sustainably should be used as a source of energy, generating an additional 300 TWh of electricity and heat each year which is enough to:

  • Provide 30 million people with electricity, heating and cooling
  • Save 70 million barrels of crude oil used in industrial production, e. g. of cement.




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