CO2 reduction with circular plastics in the Netherlands. Scenario analysis for 2030 and several case studies

NRK Federation and PlasticsEurope Nederland commissioned CE Delft to study the expected reduction in CO2 emissions from the production and disposal of rubber and plastic products in the Netherlands. To that end, scenarios have been calculated for 2030 that include the effect of mechanical recycling, chemical recycling, biobased plastics and efficient production.

In addition, 6 practical cases were assessed to illustrate the macro-scenario analysis. This includes the fact that climate benefits are often realised by the use of plastics and rubber. For example, plastic makes an aircraft lighter and therefore more energy efficient. There are also many plastic food containers that prevent food spoilage.

If all possible action is taken it appears possible to halve CO2 emissions per kg of plastic by 2030. However, this will require the collection of considerably more plastic for recycling and considerably more recycling applications. To achieve this in the short term, stricter government policy is needed with clear rules for both the collection of plastic waste for recycling and the use of recyclate, preferably at the European level.

On 2 November, Geert Bergsma had the opportunity to explain and present this report at the Future Proof Plastic symposium organised by Plastic Europe Netherlands and the NRK. See Climate impact of plastics can be reduced by up to 50% by 2030 • Rethink ( You can also watch this symposium here.

During the symposium, Diederik Samsom (Head of Cabinet of European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans) responded to the report by video. His contribution can be found here: