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Evolve beyond plastic dependency: our plastic assessment unlocks sustainability, value, and risk reduction.

Natalia Orrala
Feb 27, 2024

Transforming the plastic value chain with circular economy

Plastic waste is polluting the environment, and its current consumption is incompatible with environmental targets. Globally, we produce twice the plastic waste compared with twenty years ago and only 9% is recycled. At the current consumption trend, 12 billion tonnes of plastic waste will pollute the natural environment by 2050. This versatile material is used in a variety of products and industries; however, waste is generated across the plastic value chain from production and transport to post-use stages. The effects of plastic consumption include environmental and human-related risks such as altering the marine ecosystem and potential cancers associated with the use of chemical additives.

Several actors in the plastic value chain could face significant risks by not acting towards plastics circularity due to increased stakeholder pressure. Manufacturers and buyers of plastic packaging could face negative impact in revenues due to a lack of innovation in packaging design as consumers are becoming environmentally conscious.  In recent years, the Plastics Pact Network enabled by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, where the UK is a Member State, is encouraging governments and organisations to establish a global treaty that ends plastic pollution.

In addition, the regulatory landscape is tightening with new regulations and reporting standards enforcing metrics and accountability. Examples of regulations are the UK Plastic Packaging Tax set at £200 per tonne of plastic with less than 30% recycled content, and the UK Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging that shifts the full cost of collecting household packaging waste from the taxpayers to producers. Reporting standards are also supporting collective action towards plastic reduction through transparency of plastic use. Recently, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a global reporting framework for greenhouse gas emissions, announced that plastic metrics will be included in companies’ disclosure for the first time.

Organisations struggle to identify where to begin in their plastic reduction journey due to their over-reliance on the resource. Currently, efforts are over reliant on recycling and few in reducing plastic use. Over 500 companies set targets to use 100% reusable, recyclable and compostable plastic packaging by 2025, however, progress shows this target will not be met. Other organisations pledge that their plastic items are 100% recyclable but have not developed capabilities to recover plastic after usage phase.

As a result, virgin fossil feedstock is still the largest share of raw material accounting for 90% of plastic items. Some of the challenges organisations face regarding plastic:

  • Reducing plastic use without compromising plastic functionality such as packaging to preserve food
  • Using recycled plastic and increasing efficiency of forward and reverse logistics
  • Sorting plastic waste and applying circular levers while keeping product quality and performance
  • Engaging with customers and end-consumers for plastic recovery
  • Enabling ecosystems between value chain players to revalorise plastic waste through innovation and technology

To allow closing the loop for plastics, organisations need to develop capabilities in cross-sector collaboration across the value chain, innovation, and business models. However, organisations must first change their perception of plastic value and detect the largest sources of plastic dependency in their value chains to effectively take actions for its reduction.

At Capgemini, we recognise the uniqueness of each client and their diverse sustainability objectives, calling for individual assessment to reduce plastic waste. While various initiatives have been launched to tackle plastic waste, different focus points exist depending on businesses priorities and the packaging function. As part of our assessment, we consider factors such as your industry sector, packaging materials, business model, supply chain capabilities and opportunities to achieve a circular ecosystem of plastic. Our team of sustainability experts can undertake an in-depth analysis of the plastic dependency at the material, product, or process level to prepare clients for upcoming regulations and reporting needs.

Our strategic solution streamlines the process of identifying available solutions and technologies in the market, allowing you to prepare your organisation for implementing selected pilot projects. These projects include tangible actions to drive meaningful change and positive impact. The solution is ideal for clients seeking to shift their perception about plastic and aiming to proactively reduce their plastic footprint to stay ahead of the regulatory landscape.

If you would like to learn more about how we have successfully helped clients and how we can support you in this journey, please contact Natalia at

Meet our Expert

Natalia Orrala

Circular Economy Lead, Sustainable Futures, Capgemini Invent UK
Natalia has professional experience in the materials and packaging manufacturing industries, with focus in operations and resources efficiency. Her focus areas are enabling a circular economy for packaging, optimise the use of resources including materials and energy and transition to renewables. Natalia has broad sector experience from engagements with clients in consumer products and retail, manufacturing, energy, and utilities sectors, and holds a unique skill set in business, sustainability, and engineering.