Recycling & Recovery

Even at the end-of-life phase, plastics remain a too valuable resource to be simply thrown away. If Europe was exploiting 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 [1], equivalent to 23% of Europe 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, with a focus on high quality and market standards, this will stimulate markets for the more resource efficient use of end-of-life plastics throughout Europe.

PlasticsEurope is committed and prepared to support such developments with specific know-how and expertise, through an open dialogue with all relevant stakeholders and the general public supported by fact-based information.

[1] assuming a landfill rate of 10% for non-plastic waste 

* The eco-efficiency of a product or service describes its societal, environmental as well as its economic performance

More technical information

Contact our expert
Adrian.Whyle (at)
Did you know ?
  • More than 50 per cent of all medicine products worldwide are made of plastics.