The Impact of the Energy Crisis on the European Plastics Manufacturers

The energy and raw materials crisis resulting from Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has raised very significant challenges for our industry, supply chain, and all EU economies.

Despite significant ongoing efforts to transition European plastics manufacturing to the EU’s net-zero and circularity targets by 2050, plastics production in Europe continues to rely on fossil fuels as an energy source and feedstock.

The high costs of raw materials and energy have already impacted productions levels at some European sites and led to a loss of competitivity versus other regions. The impact on our members, however, is not uniform. Differing business models and geographic footprints (in Europe and globally) present different challenges.

Plastics are a strategically important material for the European economy, with applications in almost every sector, including automotive, construction, consumer goods, healthcare and renewable energy. Our members are therefore working hard to minimise the impact of the crisis on our downstream value chains and the wider European economy.

The crisis has highlighted the vulnerability of the European plastics industry, and we are concerned that it will erode Europe’s competitiveness and undermine the investment and innovation required to transition to a circular plastics economy.

We recognise the efforts of the EU and member states to overcome the crisis in an extremely challenging context, and remain committed to working more closely with the policymakers to create a policy and regulatory framework that protects jobs, investment, the economy, and supports / accelerates the net-zero and circularity transition.