Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Commitments and deliverables of the Circular Plastics Alliance

Commitments and deliverables of the Circular Plastics Alliance

The Circular Plastics Alliance has committed to boosting the EU market for recycled plastics to 10 million tonnes by 2025. The CPA takes action to reach this target and publishes its deliverables on this page.

Circular Plastics Alliance banner

Commitments to action

As explained in the declaration of the Circular Plastics Alliance, the signatories “take action to boost the EU market for recycled plastics up to 10 million tonnes by 2025”. The summary of the alliance’s commitments for action lists the planned deliverables, with deadlines. See the first three deliverables below. The next deliverables will follow in early 2021. 

Work plan on design

The alliance’s first deliverable is a work plan on design-for-recycling of plastic products (design work plan). This work plan lists 19 plastic products that the CPA will make more recyclable. If all the plastic waste generated by these 19 plastic products were collected for recycling, this alone would be sufficient to achieve the 10 million tonnes target. The CPA analyses, however, that only half of this waste is collected currently and even less is recycled. To address this issue, the CPA will 

  • add more plastics products to the 19 in the list in early 2021 
  • publish a report in early 2021 that investigates how to increase plastic waste collection, sorting and recycling in Europe

State-of-play on plastic waste collection and sorting in Europe

The Circular Plastics Alliance delivered a state-of-play on collected and sorted plastic waste in Europe. This report provides an overview of the current situation. It shows that the five industry sectors that joined the CPA account for over 70% of all the plastic waste collected in Europe each year (i.e. 21 million tonnes). Out of this, 44% (9.2 million tonnes) are sorted for recycling and sent to recyclers, leading to 5.2 million tonnes of recycled plastics produced in Europe. The report summarises the challenges to increasing collection and sorting of plastic waste.

The next report in early 2021 will investigate the untapped potential to increase the quantities of plastic waste sorted for recycling and estimate the necessary investments. The report also stresses the need to improve data on collected plastic waste in Europe. The CPA will establish a monitoring system in 2021 to help track the plastic materials flows in Europe, and calls on national authorities in Europe to help improve the data on collected waste. 

R&D agenda

The alliance also developed an R&D agenda for circular plastics. This agenda describes seven ‘strategic R&D needs’ (common to the five industry sectors represented in the CPA) as well as a series of ‘specific R&D needs’ (specific to one or two industry sectors). The signatories of the alliance will expand the description of the R&D needs and report on the relevant R&D activities in the first annual report expected in early 2021. 

Next steps

In early 2021, the Circular Plastics Alliance will publish its next deliverables. This will include, first, a monitoring system to track the plastics materials flows in Europe, from waste collection to recycling and converting. The system will rely on audited data. Second, the alliance will publish a report on the untapped potential for more collection, sorting and recycling of plastic waste in Europe, showing the necessary improvements to reach the 10 million tonnes target. Third, a mapping of the related investment needs will complement the untapped potential report, also in the perspective of a green economic recovery after the Covid-19 crisis.