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Plastics can be recycled to more than 60% by 2020


12 Sep 2013


EU Priorities 2020
Public Affairs
Sustainable Dev.
  • PRE released a study showing that plastics can potentially reach a much higher recycling rate
  • A resource efficiency vision for plastics can be implemented that would divert 24 Mt of plastics from landfills
  • 360 000 green jobs can be created


A plastics recycling target of 62% is achievable by 2020. Plastics Recyclers Europe released a study showing that a higher recycling rate for plastics will create benefits for the European Union environment, economy and resource efficiency.

“This study, commissioned to Bio Intelligence Service, aims to put forward the most suitable scenario in order to further improve the sustainability of plastics via recycling in Europe in the period to 2020. Enhancing plastics recycling will save scarce resources, create jobs and reduce environmental impacts” said Ton Emans (PRE President).

Ton Emans underlined that “the current plastics recycling situation is no longer acceptable. In the long run, economic growth, demographic changes and growing scarcity of raw materials will not allow Europe the luxury of wasting 76% of all plastic materials used. Urgent measures are needed in order to increase recycling rates for plastics. This study proposes crucial measures that should be taken in order to achieve this.”

The implementation of the Vision for Resource Efficiency will:

  •  Efficiently use all plastic waste generated by putting 11 million tonnes (Mt) of plastics recyclates on the market;
  •  Divert more than 24 Mt of plastic waste from landfill;
  •  Recover energy from 7.5 Mt of residual waste;
  •  Create around 360 000 jobs (of which 120 000 directly employed by recyclers);
  •  Save more than €4.5 billion (by substitution for virgin plastics);
  •  Avoid emissions of more than 26 MtCO2.

The full study is available on the Plastics Recyclers Europe’s website.

About Plastics Recyclers Europe
Plastics Recyclers Europe is the professional representative body of plastics recyclers in Europe. We promote plastics mechanical recycling and conditions that enable profitable and sustainable business, while offering a service platform to its members. Our members constitute 80% of the European recycling capacity, processing more than 3 million tonnes of collected plastics waste per year.

Press contact: Emilia Tarlowska: