The production of plastic has grown exponentially in just a few decades – from 1.5 million tonnes in 1950 to 359 million tonnes in 2018 worldwide – and with it the amount of plastic waste. After a sharp drop in production in the first half of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, production recovered again in the second half of the year.
In 2018 and the European Commission adopted the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy taking in account that Our society, economy and environment are all negatively affected by the way plastics are currently designed, produced, used and discarded. The amount of plastic litter is growing, hurting marine ecosystems, biodiversity and potentially human health.
The strategy pursues an ambitious approach for plastic packaging recyclability and contains a strong response on microplastics which are a significant source of marine pollution.
Additionally to this strategy and to make it more efficient, the European Commission have been funding along the last 7 years several R&D projects dealing with plastics recycling and Re-Use. All these projects have been invited to make part of the Plastics Circularity Multiplier Initiative (PCMI) launched by the European Commission.