Today's society with its production and consumption patterns would be almost inconceivable without plastics. Global plastic waste generation is far from peaking and will increase exponentially in the coming years. The current predominantly linear use of plastics is not sustainable and leads to massive environmental pollution in many areas - especially with regard to the pollution of marine ecosystems. Closed-loop plastics concepts are increasingly becoming a key sector for the future competitiveness of the industry. Innovative solutions resulting from avoidance, reuse and redesign can also potentially lead to considerable cost savings.
Together with the Kunststoff-Institut Lüdenscheid, the Wuppertal Institute developed closed-loop plastics concepts for the German state of Hesse within the PlastHess project. In this context, the Wuppertal Institute prepared a market analysis of the developments in the plastics industry as well as the current political framework conditions on a global, German, European and Hessian level. Based on this analysis and interviews with various stakeholders along the plastics value chain, the scientists developed future scenarios for a circular use of plastics. On this basis, they derived recommendations in the form of possible courses of action for the state of Hessen.