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Plastic facts

Plastic facts

Plastic packaging is an ideal packaging material for all sorts of commercial and industrial products, due to its flexibility, strength, lightness, and stability. Plastic makes our lives easier, safer, and more enjoyable, but plastic should be recycled to conserve the environment.

Plastic packaging does more than keep our food fresh on the shelves. Even though the world’s plastic production reached 388 million tons in 2019 and the use of plastic has increased rapidly since 1960, it has become an essential part of our everyday life. In everything including communications, construction, medicine, food and beverage and the farming industry, it has become invaluable due to its unique combination of light weight, durability, protective and other intrinsic properties.

Did you know?

400 million tonnes of plastic was produced globally in 2022, of which Europe uses 59 million tonnes annually.

Only 4-5% of the annual oil production in the world is used to produce plastic.

EU: s goal: 50% of all plastic packaging waste will be recycled by 2025.

By 2025 10 million tonnes of recycled plastic will be used to create new products in Europe.

European plastic strategy: for all of the EU’s plastic packaging to be reusable or recyclable cost-effectively by 2030.

Source: Plastic Europe, Plastic – The Facts 2023

Plastic is mainly a bi-product of various fossil fuels and its production requires low levels of energy and water. Plastic packaging is more flexible and lighter than other alternatives such as glass or cardboard and reduces transportation costs and the carbon footprint attributed to it.

Main advantages of lightweight plastic packaging

Sustainability_advantages of plastic

More durable food and less food waste

Sustainability_advantages of plastic3

Transportation efficiency results in reduced CO2 emissions

Sustainability_advantages of plastic-lightweight

Light weight, protective and easily shaped material

Sustainability_advantages of plastic-recycling

Effective reuse and recycling reduce the use of natural resources during production

The global plastics industry employs more than 1.6m people in 60,000 companies turning over €360 billion. In 2019, 9.4 million tons of plastic were recycled in Europe.