Polyolefins are the most widely used family of plastics. They are present in everyday life and are fully recyclable. In less than a decade, polyolefins (polyethylenes and polypropylenes) have emerged as a leading material in a wide variety of industries and for a huge array of applications, ranging from everyday household use to specialised industrial applications

Three steps to deliver

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PCEP has three strategic goals: 

  • designing out waste; 
  • keeping maximum products and materials in use; and 
  • recycling into high-quality new raw materials.


Today, not all packaging is easily recyclable due to systems and technological limits. Design considerations are often more orientated towards how polyolefins are used and do not fully consider recyclability, quality, collection and sorting at the end of the use phase. PCEP will develop a set of tools to allow products to be designed with circularity in mind and so facilitate recycling and/or re-use.

Appropriate sorting is an essential step towards quality recycling. Today, the market does not have common standards that would create a European commodity market to feed recycling plants. PCEP will work with all relevant stakeholders to establish ways to enhance collection and sorting systems in order to generate higher quality recycling feedstock.

PCEP will be working towards a 5-10 year horizon based on effective, science-based solutions. We will initially focus on polyolefin-based packaging as it is where highest quantities of valuable recycled raw materials can be generated.