French plastics producers increase use of recycled materials

French plastics producers increase use of recycled materials but see drops in turnover, says Elipso

Nearly half of French plastic packaging producers have seen a drop in revenue as a result of the anti-plastic movement – but the industry is reducing its use of virgin material and increasing both recycled and bio-sourced material.

New figures from Elipso, the French plastic packaging association, show that 40% of its members recorded a drop in turnover in the 2018/2019 year, a figure that the association linked to the current “anti-plastic climate”. Just 5% of companies saw an increase in sales.
The annual study also revealed a growing usage of recycled plastics and bio-sourced materials.

Of the 2.2m tonnes of plastic packaging in the French market, 82% was sourced from virgin material, down from 86% the year before. Recycled material accounted for 14.5%, compared to 12% a year earlier. Meanwhile bio-sourced materials almost doubled their share, making up 3.5% of plastic packaging compared to 2% a year earlier.

Elipso said that the trend showed that a national target to include 440,000 tonnes of recycled plastic material in packaging by 2025 was realistic. The target is part of a wider national goal of using a million tonnes of recycled plastic across all French plastics production by 2025.
The association said that the figures in the study of its 320 members showed that demand to incorporate recycled material in plastic packaging was strong – but called on the government to introduce better legislation on the circular economy in order to ensure it could be achieved.

In particular, the association called for a more coherent approach to national and European targets in order to better support the transition to a circular economy.
It also called for an increase in collection of all types of plastic packaging in order to create the feedstock necessary to support a circular economy for plastics.

Francoise Andres, president of Elipso, said: “The results of our environmental study perfectly illustrate the sector’s efforts and the ecological direction that has been taken in order to create a new economy for plastics.
“We want to see a successful ecological transition that includes the preservation of industrial jobs, economic development and a reduction in environmental impact.”

To read the whole study (in French), read here the press release at the Elipso website

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