New deal

The key areas for the OCCE

  • Present the issues and take stock of the production and use of plastic in Europe
  • Encourage reflection for the creation of an environment favorable to the establishment of a new European deal for plastics in addition to the European Strategy for Plastics;
  • Introduce eco-design, recycling, waste recovery, energy recovery from plastics to achieve the objectives of sustainable development.

Plastic sector
challenges and inventory

     Versatile and inexpensive, plastics are widely used and in demand. Demand in the sector continues to grow. The plastics industry is increasing production despite society’s environmental awareness.

     Global plastic production amounted to 322 million tonnes, 58 million tonnes of which for Europe in 2015. It is a functional and aesthetic material. Its operation affects nearly 60,000 European companies creating a turnover of more than 340 billion euros in 2015. In 2018, total demand for plastics amounts to 51.8M tonnes per year, or approximately 5,000 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower.

     The poor adaptability of the defense system of the elderly and their reduced local antioxidant capacity are all factors that aggravate their sensitivity to air pollution. It should be remembered that these pollutants (ozone, VOCs, particles, SO2, NO2) attack and contribute to the deterioration of the human respiratory system. The consequences are then numerous such as the increase of respiratory affections, the deterioration of the ventilatory function, the resurgence of the cardiovascular morbidity or even, the damage of the defenses of the organism. Likewise, air pollution weakens the respiratory tract by amplifying pollen allergies.

     Plastic remains a key material for today's economy but turns out to be a real danger to sustainable development. Today, almost a third of all plastic packaging worldwide leaks into ecosystems and pollutes our environment. At present, only 14% of the plastic packaging used worldwide is recycled. A very low figure, given the fact that the latter is the sector with the highest demand for plastics. But this sector is far from being the only “consumer” of plastics. Other sectors actively use this resource: among others, construction: --> Consult our page on BTP & circular economy , automotive, electronics and electrical, and agriculture.

a threat to human health

     At the origin of plastics, new sources of very dangerous pollution appear, such as microplastics. Their danger comes from their tiny size - they can easily be swallowed by marine species and thus enter our food chain. They are also present in air and water. Once returned to our body, these particles can pose a real risk to human health.
--> Check out our page on health, climate & circular economy

     Aware of the current situation, the European Commission produced a framework strategic document in 2018 to encourage the use of plastic for a circular economy. The focal points identified were: better design of plastic products, higher plastic waste recycling rates, more and better quality recyclates.

Towards a new deal for plastics: constraints and the emergence of solutions

     Following these directives, new measures are emerging within the European institutions concerning, among other things, the single use of plastic, the energy transition fund and the tax border carbon. Likewise, measures will be adopted to:

  • Replace single-use packaging with reusable packaging
  • Collect 90% of plastic bottles by 2029 and fix the minimum content of 25% of plastic bottles in recycled materials by 2025, then 30% by 2030.

     These objectives therefore require concrete actions in favor of the circular economy given the urgency of the environmental situation. The change is essential in the current modes of production and consumption. The life cycle of plastics must be rethought and at each stage, the players concerned will have to adapt. The design must be carried out with a view to sustainability. Either for reuse or for recycling. For example, it is preferable to create products containing only recyclable components (e.g. polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polypropylene (PP) , polyethylene terephthalate (PET)). This will then entail the entire revision of the process, whether it be design or production. The emergence of new needs will be inevitable. Obviously, this creates a need for investment in terms of both technology and research and development.

Circular economy
recycling or energy recovery from plastics

     Despite various preventive actions, plastic waste still exists. Recycling and reusing plastic then saves a lot of energy, especially oil. According to statistics, 1 tonne of recycled plastics saves 5 barrels of crude oil. Especially since the quality and performance of recycled material is equivalent to that of virgin materials. To be profitable, recycled packaging must have a threshold between 35% and 50%.

     The alternative to this would be energy recovery. Indeed, the combustion of solid household waste with other materials makes it possible to supply heat and electricity. Plastic can also replace fossil fuels due to their high calorific value. Their potential is estimated at an additional 300 TWh of energy and heat per year.

     In this complex context, the OCCE's actions are aimed at bringing in deep reflections and participating in the debates for a New Deal for Plastics in Europe.
     In its approach, the OCCE starts from the observation that the circular economy does not refer to the simple recycling of products, once used, but must be applied to the whole life cycle of a material / product: including design, production, more efficient use of raw materials, recovery of waste. It's also about thinking about repairing and reusing plastics.

10 key proposals of the OCCE

  • Promote the reduction, reuse and change of nature of packaging;
  • Have technologies to improve automated systems for detection, screening, sorting and recycling of collected waste;
  • Supporting entities wishing to embark on industrial composting;
  • Encourage the creation of domestic composting standards;
  • Establish comprehensive labeling standards for recyclable and biodegradable plastics to facilitate their identification by consumers;
  • Disseminate eco-responsible consumption practices and responsible management of end-of-life plastic products;
  • Require the application of product eco-balance;
  • Propose incentives to prioritize recyclable plastic;
  • Generate outlets for recycled products s through taxation or by fixing a minimum quantity of recycled products in the supply cycle;
  • Federate multi-stakeholder discussions to disseminate more suitable selective collection methods and sorting techniques throughout Europe;
  • Facilitate and encourage the development of technologies and solutions for recycling and recovering waste;
  • Think the use of non-recyclable plastics (ex: produce energy).

Take part in these common challenges and bring
your thoughts and experiences
in the field:


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What is your proposal ?

Join our events

In order to facilitate the emergence of new solutions, standards and obligations and to participate in European debates towards a New Deal for plastics, the OCCE is organizing a European Hackathon on the subject.


Leading Action - Reserved for active members
New Plastics Deal: new bans / new solutions and sectors
/ new challenges / new regulations

March 1,  2021 - Brussels, Belgium

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Training-information session
New Plastics Deal: new bans / new solutions and sectors
/ new challenges / new regulations

April 15, 2021 - Brussels, Belgium

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In order to facilitate the emergence of new solutions, standards and obligations and to participate in European debates towards a New Deal for plastics, the OCCE is organizing a European Hackathon on the subject.


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