The truth is measured in facts. The data speak for themselves. Plastics Data - The Facts 2019 - An analysis of European plastics production, demand and waste data. Data for EU-28 plus Norway and Switzerland.

Plastic means employment and security

+1.6 million

People employed by the European plastics industry.

60,000 companies

In the European plastics industry in Europe.

Revenues of more than
360 billion euros (2018)

Plastic is a key player in the European economy.

Today, plastic…

Supports country budgets
The European plastics industry contributed 28.8 billion euros to public finances and social welfare in 2018.

Recycling occurs worldwide
In 2018, 9.4 million tonnes of plastic post-consumer waste were collected in Europe to be recycled (inside and outside the EU)*.

* Data from Plastics – The Facts 2019
An analysis of European plastics production, demand and waste data. Data for EU-28 plus Norway and Switzerland.

Plastic, a driving
force for the economy

Italy, no. 2 producer in Europe

Italy is one of the largest producers in Europe and makes 13.9% of the plastic on the continent, coming in just after Germany.

Plastic increases the GDP

The plastics industry increased the Italian GDP by 2.4 and tripled new jobs.
* The European House Ambrosetti study, data for Italy, 2013

We recycle more than 40% here

In Italy, from 40 to 50% of plastic is recycled.

A source of pride

Italy holds a prominent position in the European plastics industry.

A matter of commitment

Recycling more than 40% is a positive outcome. But, we can do more with a commitment from everyone: producers, institutions and consumers.

Plastic is not for throwing into the trash.

Plastic has a long life

Products made with plastic have a diverse life cycle, from one to more than 50 years.

42.6% becomes new energy

In the legal collection of plastic refuse, more than 40% is used to generate energy, 32.5% is recycled and less than 25% is dumped in landfills.

Since 2006, recycling has increased by 100% in Europe

When comparing the re-use of plastic refuse from 2006 to 2018, 3 positive data points emerge.

We’re more autonomous in plastic recycling

In 2018, more than 29 million tons of plastic refuse were collected in Europe for recycling. And export of European plastic refuse for recycling in other countries worldwide decreased by 39% from 2016 to 2018.

+100% of plastic refuse is recycled
+77% is used to generate energy
-44% was dumped in landfills

The case for plastic packaging

+92% plastic packaging recycling in Europe

From 2006 to 2018, the volume of recycled refuse from plastic post-consumer packaging doubled. Of that, the amount used to generate energy rose by 84% and the amount dumped in landfills fell by 54%.

Italy is in the top 10

In Europe, efforts to recycle plastic packaging refuse vary from country to country, some recycling just 26% to the most vigilant at 52%. Despite the wide-ranging standings, Italy still ranks in the top ten, recycling just under 45%.

How plastic packaging is recycled in Europe

42% is recycled for re-use in manufacturing new products
39.5% is used to generate energy
18.5 is dumped in landfills

Europe is learning to recycle packaging

In 2018, a good 17 of the 28 countries included in this study recycled more than 40% of their plastic packaging refuse. And 3 countries even exceeded 50%.

A source of pride

More than half of the plastic packaging refuse in Europe is recycled. A superior performance.

A matter of commitment

Italy ranks ninth among the countries recycling plastic. And we are quite sure that we can improve its standing.

Future objectives.

Plastics 2030 – a voluntary commitment
Bringing together plastic product manufacturers in Europe, PlasticsEurope solicited a voluntary commitment in 2018 that focuses on 4 calls to action:

  • produce recyclable material (target: 100%)
  • increase re-use and recycling (target: over 55%)
  • prevent the disposal of plastic materials into the environment (target: 10% less plastic in the landfills)
  • accelerate the efficiency of resources

Future European Objectives

2030: 60% recycling of plastic packaging refuse
2060: 100% recycling of plastic packaging refuse

Hundreds of programs worldwide

355 programs are already being implemented or are in progress within the framework of the Global Plastics Alliance, a coalition of 74 plastics associations worldwide.

Would you like to learn more?
Write to us for any further
information you may need.
Follow us on LinkedIn.


This site uses cookies, including from third parties, to improve the browsing experience. If you want to know more you can consult our Privacy Policy .
You can freely lend, refuse or withdraw your consent at any time by accessing the preferences panel.
You can consent to the use of these technologies by closing this information.

I agree Customize