The report reveals the situation with plastic in the world during 2022

Plastics EuropePan-European Association of Plastics Manufacturers publishes a report Plastics – situation in 2022. Which emphasizes that the transition towards net zero emissions by 2050faster systemic changes and more intensive and effective cooperation between all parts of the European plastics system are essential.

This edition of the report presents data for the year 2021 on the production, demand and transformation of this input, as well as some European and national data on waste management for the year 2020.

The report points out that most plastics are still produced from raw materials of fossil origin. The crossing of circular and climate neutral economy it requires investment and innovation throughout the value chain of this raw material.

This is the development of new business models for reuse, production of more recycled plastics and new raw materials that are less dependent on oil and gas of fossil origin.

Plastics globally

After stagnation in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2021 the global production of this material increased to 390.7 million tons.

In 2021, 90.2% of world production was of fossil origin. Post-use recycled and bio-based/bio-based plastics accounted for 8.3% and 1.5% of global plastic production, respectively, the study said.

In 2021, the use of this recycled material increased in Europe by 20% compared to 2020, up to 5.5 million tons. This increase implies that the content rate recycling in plastic products It was practically 10%.

The report adds that in 2021, China will increase its market share to nearly a third of global plastic production. Furthermore, it shows that circular plastics represented about 9.8% of global production.

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The report provides an overview of the plastics industry’s contribution to European society. Photo: Freepik

Be sure to check out: Sustainable Plastics: Allies of the Packaging and Packaging Industry

The plastics industry in Europe

The study emphasizes that European industry is transitioning to meet its net-zero emissions and circularity targets by 2050. After a decline in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, European production rose to 57.2 million tonnes in 2021.

In 2021, European plastic production reached 57.2 thousand tons. Post-use recycled plastic and bio-based/bio-attributed plastic represent 10.1% and 2.3% of European plastic production, respectively.

It should be noted that the demand data from European processors in this report does not include recycled plastics and of biological origin/bioattributed due to limited data availability.

The scope of application includes thermoplastics and thermosets. Demand data are based on estimates of quantities purchased by European processors, including imports.

Industry challenges

The publication emphasizes that in 2022, the war in Ukraine has increased already existing problems in supply chains and high prices of raw materials and energy. High prices, especially in Europe, weakened economic growth and caused less demand for this input.

A sharp decline in European plastic production caused by the pandemic in the first half of 2020 was followed by an even stronger recovery in 2021. However, there is still significant uncertainty for the end of 2022 and 2023 due to the current energy and logistics crisis, the report concludes.

plastic cups.
The use of this recycled material has increased in Europe by 20% compared to 2020, to 5.5 million tons. Photo: Freepik

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