In 2020, 35% of the post-consumer plastics waste collected in Europe were sent to recycling (inside and outside the EU), while the remaining quantities were sent to landfilling (23%) and energy recovery (42%). Almost 90% of the waste sent to recycling (9.1 Mt) were treated in Europe (EU27+3) to produce 5.5 million tonnes of recyclates. Besides, the average recycled content in European plastic products has amounted to 8.5%, ranging from 2.9% in automotive or E&E sectors to 22.8% in agriculture applications.
The Green Deal is at the heart of the EU’s ambitions of becoming climate neutral and circular. To meet these ambitious objectives, plastics waste needs to be captured as a valuable resource and turned into new products. This transitioning from a linear economy to a circular economy requires different recycling technologies.