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From linear to circular

Developing a plan for a circular and net-zero plastics industry

Plastics Europe

Plastics Europe partnered with Deloitte to create a roadmap for a circular and net-zero plastics industry by 2050. Through stakeholder engagement and multidisciplinary expertise, the plan focuses on circularity, net-zero emissions, and sustainable use of plastics, driving impactful change.

The plastics industry is being challenged to fundamentally change the way it operates in Europe. As packaging or as components of almost all manufacturing, it’s difficult to find an industry that does not use plastic in some form. This diverse and complex industry is therefore essential to the creation of a sustainable future on this continent.

Plastics Europe, the organisation that represents plastics manufacturers across Europe, asked Deloitte for support in the development of its roadmap to become a circular and net-zero plastics industry by 2050.

We approached the project through four workstreams. Together, we developed a roadmap with milestones for 2030, 2040 and 2050. Then, we identified potential industry actions and critical enablers to achieve these targets. Key to the sustainability of the industry, this plan has three pillars: making circular plastics, helping to drive lifecycle emissions to net-zero, and fostering sustainable use of plastics.

Bringing consensus to a divergent industry

Plastics Europe represents a broad range of organisations in this varied industry. A critical step in the change process was to ensure the engagement of several stakeholders. We leveraged the Deloitte Nzyme methodology to host two highly interactive sessions with industry stakeholders to jointly develop key elements of the roadmap, with support from those who will finally implement it.

Utilising the expertise of our Finance and Performance team, we created a dashboard identifying primary indicators and a baseline that will be used to measure and monitor progress towards defined ambitions. In addition, our Deloitte Digital team helped to develop a communications strategy that defined targets, channels, and messages to maximise the impact of the cross-industry plan through stakeholder communications.

Having access to the expertise of four disciplines under one Deloitte roof was a huge differentiator to this project’s success.

It was necessary for us to formulate a vision for a truly sustainable plastics system that continues to meet consumer and societal demands.

Marco Ten Bruggencate, President of Plastics Europe

It aims to guide, incentivise and accelerate industry action and performance, providing an evidence base to inform value chain dialogue and policymaking.

Virginia Janssens, Managing Director of Plastics Europe

About Plastics Europe

Plastics Europe is the pan-European association of plastics manufacturers. With close to 100 members producing over 90% of all polymers across Europe, our mission is to accelerate a solutions-driven approach to the circularity and climate goals of a sustainable plastics industry. The entire European plastics industry value chain employs around 1.6 million people at more than 60,000 companies, including many SMEs. Together, we create a turnover of €360 billion . Plastics Europe is an active partner in the World Plastics Council and the Global Plastics Alliance.

Key contacts

Maarten Dubois

Director | Consulting | Sustainability & Circular Economy