As an industry, we believe that sustainability has to be approached in the right way.

We should not only look for easy solutions; fixing one problem today and creating another tomorrow. Long-term vision is important, as is the need to act with urgency and to work collectively towards shared goals.

Plastic is a key material for innovation and for helping us reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change. But any plastic waste in the environment is unacceptable. Plastics must be sustainable.

We are therefore accelerating our contribution to the sustainable production and use of plastics, while ensuring they continue their positive contribution to healthy societies and growing economies. This means increasing our efforts to reduce plastic waste, promote reuse and collection and recycling of plastic waste, and accelerating the transition to a circular economy.

We are determined to implement long-lasting positive change.

While our industry has an essential role to play, this transition is not one we can undertake alone. That is why working hand in hand with manufacturers, brand owners, consumers, recyclers and policymakers towards our shared goals is so important.

Creators of circularity for a sustainable future

The circular plastics economy is about recognising and capturing the value of plastics as a resource, with the least impact on the climate. It is one of the keys to tackling plastic waste.

Accelerating the transition to a circular economy is vital. To do so, we must harness the power of innovation and technology to significantly increase reuse and recycling by, for example, creating more recyclable products and more innovative recycling techniques.

It also requires policy and regulation, which promotes harmonised collection and mechanical recycling, and encourages more focused and increased investment in key technologies like chemical recycling.

Find out how Plastics Europe has accelerated the transition to a circular economy.

Enabling climate neutrality

The severity of the climate crisis requires urgent action if we are to successfully mitigate the impact of climate change through the creation of a low-carbon economy.

The plastics industry is already contributing towards Europe’s climate ambitions. CO2 emissions are reduced by the use of plastics in most applications and are, for example, helping to decrease energy consumption and emissions in the building and construction and transport sectors. Plastics are also enabling the transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy through their use in wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles.

We are also improving the climate impact of all aspects of our operations, making our production processes more energy and resource-efficient, using more renewable energy and more alternative feedstock from waste and renewable resources, while also supporting carbon capture solutions and accelerating the transition to a circular economy.

Learn how sustainable production, alternative feedstocks and renewable energy are guiding our transition to a low-carbon economy.

Inspiring sustainable living – from next-generation building materials to recyclable trainers

Plastics are at the heart of a continually expanding range of innovations that contribute to sustainability, safety, longer lives and better performance in our everyday lives. From the point of purchase through to end-of-life, plastics provide tangible benefits to society and the environment through sustainable use.

Learn how buildings and construction, mobility, healthcare, food, packaging and sports all benefit from plastics.

The role of plastics in healthcare

Modern healthcare would be impossible without the many plastic-based medical products we take for granted.Plastics are everywhere, from personal protective equipment, sterile syringes, and intravenous blood bags, to IV tubes, heart valves, ‘artificial skin’ for emergency burns treatment, orthopaedic devices, and slow drug release plastic pills. Innovations in plastics are also making new advances in healthcare possible.

Read more about advances in plastics for healthcare

Innovating for the future

For over 100 years, science and innovation have been at the heart of everything we do. New and exciting innovations in plastics have contributed to sustainability advances across many sectors, ranging from recycled materials for packaging to creating sustainable homes.

With a strong focus on innovation and significant investments in research and development, process technology and environmental protection, we are accelerating our contribution to the sustainable production and use of plastics.

Learn about some of the many innovations in plastics

Explore further

A report by the British Plastics Federation aims to address some of the key sustainability issues in the plastics industry and provide concrete examples and case studies highlighting the industry’s contribution towards sustainability.

Read the report – Sustainability in the plastics supply chain.

Developed in the framework of Plastics Europe’s Voluntary Commitment Plastics 2030, this report provides a European overview of plastics production, conversion into parts and products, waste collection and treatment, including recycling. It also addresses the production of recyclates and their use in different applications.

Read the report – The Circular Economy for Plastics – A European Overview