Plastic Recycling Industry in Europe

The plastic industry is an important sector of the European economy. Plastic products are omni-present in our everyday life. They are an extensively used material in number of industries e.g.: automotive, electrical & electronic, building & construction, and food & beverage sector. Due to the distinctive properties of plastic as well as its growing innovation applications, the trend in production for this material will continue to grow. 

The plastic application sectors are relatively stable with the packaging sector remaining the largest, followed by building & construction, automotive, electrical & electronic equipment. The biggest source of plastic waste remains packaging and consequently the most plastics waste that is currently recycled comes from this stream. There is a positive trend observed in Europe in the recovery of plastics that less plastic waste is ending in landfills. In 2012, out of the 25, 2 Mt of plastics collected for recycling 6.6 Mt were recycled and 8.9 Mt were incinerated. The challenge to recycle more and to fully implement the waste hierarchy model, with prevention, reuse, recycling, recovery and disposal as the least preferable option, remains.

Learn more about plastics recycling here:

Plastics Waste Management

Mechanical Recycling

Chemical Recycling

Energy Recovery

Disposal & Landfilling




Latest news

Innovation and enhanced collection and sorting systems key for closing the loop

Following its creation on 25 October 2016, PCEP’s founding partners, the European Plastics Converters, PlasticsEurope and Plastics Recyclers Europe agreed on a joint mission to advance the circular economy by increasing the reuse and recycling of polyolefin based products and the use of recyclates as raw material. 

The first Plastics Recycling Show Europe (PRS) exhibition and conference held recently in Amsterdam, The Netherlands attracted visitors, exhibitors and speakers from across Europe and beyond, and has been acclaimed by all as an outstanding success.