Menu image/svg+xml

Analysis of specific measures to increase demand for recycled plastics and products containing recycled plastics

The recycling of plastics has two components: The recycling of plastic waste and the use of recycled plastics in new products. To further expand recycling, the existence of a stable market for recycling products is required. However, the demand for recycled plastics and plastic products containing recycled plastics is currently low. The EU stipulates that ten million tonnes of recycled plastics are to be processed into new products by 2025. According to EU-KOM, the market demand in 2015 was around 2.9 million tonnes.

Sustainable public procurement can be an important adjustment screw to increase the demand for plastic products containing recycled plastics. The research project investigates how this contribution can be made in concrete terms. The project will examine in which (procurement-relevant) products plastic recyclates can be sensibly (increasingly) used and the post-consumer recycled plastics quota in public procurement practice can be increased while maintaining the same level of product usability. Proposals will be developed for this purpose that conform to public procurement law.
Post-consumer plastics are plastic waste that is generated by private and commercial end users, is not production residue and is not used in the production of another product.

The Öko-Institut (overall project management) first determines how the content of post-consumer recyclates (PCR) in plastic products can be recorded and investigates whether new definitions or regulations will be required and how these can be communicated to purchasers in a simplified manner - for example in the form of labelling.

In the context of public procurement, the IÖW examines the current tendering practice for plastic-containing products and plastic products at federal, state and municipal level, researches market-ready product innovations for 10 to 15 selected products/product groups and discusses adequate PCR rates. As a result, a factsheet "Review of the tender and market research of plastic products containing recycled material" will be prepared for public procurement practice.

Finally, a look beyond public procurement is taken directly at the manufacturers and their manufacturer responsibility. The research partners aim to develop product-specific factsheets that show in which areas quotas can usefully stimulate greater PCR use.

IÖW Project Team