9.2 Data Management Plan and Quality Assurance

Increasing the share of recycled plastics in new products is a central aspect of the European Strategy for Plastics, adopted by the European Commission in 2018 as a part of the first Circular Economy Action Plan (2015). One of the main goals of the Strategy is to “ensure that by 2025 10 million tonnes of recycled plastics find their way into new products on the EU market”1 , against less than 4 million tonnes in 2016. In 2016, only 5.3 million tonnes of plastics went to EU recycling facilities as input material.

After the recycling process, the output mass is generally 1-2 times lower. For this reason, the collection rate and the yield have to improve significantly. Also, more collected material needs to reach recycling facilities instead of being incinerated, landfilled or exported. Furthermore, the demand for recycled plastics needs a boost, especially in added value applications such as electrical and electronic equipment (EEE).

Currently, the main sectors using recycled plastics are the building and construction sector (46%), the packaging sector (24%) and the agriculture sector (13%). On the other hand, only 2% of today’s recyclates are used in EEE. This corresponds to around 80,000 tonnes of recycled plastics in new EEE, against an annual theoretical market potential of 2,100,000 tonnes3 in the EU.