From January till September 2018, the European Plastics Converters Association (EuPC) conducted its 2nd European survey on the use of recycled plastics materials (rPM) in Europe’s plastics converting industry. Following the period of 9 months during which 376 companies from 21 different countries filled in the online questionnaire, EuPC now published the results in cooperation with Polymer Comply Europe SCRL. (PCE), which conducted the survey on behalf of EuPC.
The survey was commissioned to follow up on the results of its first edition and provide deeper insights into the reasons preventing a bigger use of rPM by converting companies. Some of the survey’s main conclusions are:
The vast majority of plastics converters (76%) is convinced that the improvement of collection and sorting of plastic waste would be the most suitable way to increase the quality of rPM. Other measures include investments in better recycling technologies by recyclers (53%) and the implementation of better design for recycling (29%).
Plastics converters are already doing their part to improve the quality of rPM, as 80% of the respondents are already taking measures to improve the quality of recyclates.
An increase of the rPM volumes that are incorporated into new products as envisioned in the Plastics Strategy is practically impossible under the current conditions. 10 different plastic materials were included in the survey but for only 2 of them did the majority of respondents state that the supply is sufficient. The situation worsens when it comes to the quality of the available rPM. Only for PET did a majority (71%) state that the quality is sufficient.
The survey is part of EuPC’s ongoing work to address the technical issues related to the recycling of polymers and the use of rPM by converting companies. To help to improve the quality of rPM and to boost their use, EuPC, together with other plastics associations, has pledged in its voluntary commitment to organise 50 workshops between converters and recyclers all over Europe until 2020. Furthermore, EuPC will launch a third survey in 2019, and is currently working on a project to develop a single, unified online tool to monitor the use of rPM in the European plastics converting industry.
All EuPC members and participating companies will receive the detailed report on the results of the survey during the following months.