PlasticsEurope, an association representing European plastics manufacturers, announces a significant increase in planned chemical recycling investment: from 2.6 billion Euros in 2025 to 7.2 billion Euros in 2030. To further accelerate investments in this technology and the transition towards a circular economy, PlasticsEurope also calls for a harmonized and strong policy and regulatory framework.
Chemical recycling allows to recycle plastic waste, which is otherwise incinerated or sent to landfill. It delivers significant quantities of recycled material with virgin plastic properties. It is complementary to mechanical recycling and, according to PlasticsEurope, has a huge potential for creating quality jobs and contributing to a climate neutral and competitive circular economy in Europe.
It is estimated that by 2050 nearly 60% of global plastics production could be based on reuse and recycling . PlasticsEurope members are already investing billions of Euros and teaming up with innovative value chain partners to ramp up chemical recycling and other leading-edge technology solutions. PlasticsEurope member companies are planning to increase their investment in chemical recycling to produce 1.2Mt in 2025 and 3.4 Mt in 2030 of recycled plastics.
Speaking at the “Closing the loop on chemical recycling in Europe” event in Brussels, Dr Markus Steilemann, President of PlasticsEurope and CEO of Covestro, commented: “Chemical recycling is a game changer and a key building block of the circular economy – not only in Europe. This increased investment confirms the determination of the industry to address the problem of plastic waste (…). However, this is just a starting point, and sizeable investments are still needed to fully capture the value of this technology.”
Scaling-up this technology, and delivering broader systemic change requires a tool kit that includes many solutions - diversification of feedstock, new infrastructure, business models, new materials, waste prevention and eco-design, amongst others.
“Based on a unique approach to the circular economy, we believe that embracing and investing in a hierarchy of technologies, ranging from mechanical to chemical recycling, delivers the optimum circular solution for the value chain with less impact on the environment.”, confirms Lucrèce Foufopoulos, Executive Vice President - Polyolefins and Circular Economy and CTO, Borealis.