Plastic recycling figures

In France:

in 2012

143 630

employees in the plastics processing industry.

4 000

companies in the sector.


billion euro turnover in this sector.


in 2011

280 000 000

tons were produced


28 000

Eiffel Towers.

An impressive figure considering that plastic was practically non-existent in the 50s.

  • Plastic material by sector of activity in Europe :

    According to a study by the PlasticsEurope Market Research Group (PEMRG), in 2011, the demand by the plastics processing industry reached 47 million tons. In leading position, packaging with 39% of the demand, followed by Public Works and Civil Engineering (20.5%), the automobile sector (8.3%) and electronic equipment (5.4%). The remainder (26.4%) is related to agriculture, health, furniture and decoration, sports…

  • Plastic material by sector of activity in France :

    Still according to the 2011 study by PlasticsEurope, France consumed 4.6 million tons of plastics and held 3rd place among European consumers, just behind Germany and Italy. The lead sector is packaging with a concentration of 44% of the demand, followed by Public Works and Civil Engineering (20.6%), and the automobile sector (9.1%). The remaining 21.3 % include all the other sectors (agriculture, sports, health..).

  • What about recycling in all this?

    There is still much progress to be made in France in terms of plastics recycling. In 2012 we held the 21st position in Europe (29 countries with Switzerland and Norway). And for a good reason, only 1/5 of our waste is recycled! Nevertheless, we do know how important recycling is and its impact on our planet. On the one hand, recycling of plastics (post-industrial and post-customer) allows us to save raw materials and, as a result, preserve natural resources. We know that one ton of recycled plastic allows 830 litres of oil to be saved… This does provide food for thought!

    Also, recycling considerably reduces the weight of the waste to be buried or incinerated, thus reducing the impact on the greenhouse gas effect. For example, 1 ton of recycled PET plastic reduces CO2 emissions by 2.29 equivalent T, 1 ton of PEHD by 1.53 equivalent T!

  • Objective: zero plastics at our waste-disposal sites!

    Recycling of plastics waste is clearly insufficient in France. However, the plastics sector is doing everything possible to improve waste recycling. It has an objective of “zero plastics in 2020” at our waste-disposal sites.

    For post-consumption, everything is based on selective sorting. Eco Emballages (which manages household recycling) tests millions of French people regarding new, more refined selective sorting whose purpose it is to further separate the various packaging.

    To overcome this situation, the plastics sector and its players intend to extend recycling to all the sorts of plastics and in particular so as to create energy by improving selective collection.

    The plastics processing industry and the recycling of plastic waste has yet to prove itself, but with the participation of all, the inhabitants, the companies, the objective might be reached!