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A low-emissions, circular plastic economy in Norway

IntroductionView ReportsThe Big Picture

A low-emissions circular plastic economy in Norway is within reach

The world is facing a critical plastic pollution challenge and Norway has the ambition to continue to be a frontrunner in addressing this challenge.


The Achieving Circularity study outlines the current consumption of plastic in 7 major sectors, covering ~80% of Norwegian plastic consumption (currently ~78% linear). It seeks a “North Star” for the most ambitious levels of Circularity and Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG) abatement that could be realistically achieved by the Norwegian plastic system.

Norway is the first country to scrutinise such a comprehensive scope of plastic sectors making this one of the most holistic views of a national plastic system ever presented.


Achieving Circularity builds on the ‘Breaking the Plastic Wave’ study; comprising of 3 reports on Single-Use Plastics, Durable Plastics and a Synthesis Report (Executive Summary) detailing a pathway to accelerate a transition towards a low-emissions, zero-waste circular plastic economy in Norway by 2040.






We would be happy to discuss or present the insights from the ‘Achieving Circularity’ studies in more detail. Please contact the team at [email protected]

Momentum is building

Synthesis Report

(Executive Summary)

A low-emissions circular plastic economy in Norway is within reach. Overall, 70% circularity can be achieved, whilst reducing greenhouse gasses by 75%.

Circularity is the fastest, most efficient, and most reliable way to abate the GHG emissions generated by the Norwegian plastic system. Explore the 7 critical insights…

Circular strategies towards a zero-waste, circular system

Achieving Circularity

for Single-Use Plastics

The zero-waste circular plastic economy vision is one which designs out waste and pollution, eliminates unnecessary production and consumption, retains products and materials in the economy, and safely collects and disposes waste that cannot be economically processed.

This permanently stops plastic pollution, increases material circularity, and reduces GHG emissions. Explore tailored strategies for the Packaging and Household Goods sectors…

Circular strategies towards a low-emissions, circular system

Achieving Circularity

for Durable Plastics

Effective ways to transition the durable plastic sectors to achieve circularity levels of 77%, whilst reducing GHG emissions by 90%. The next 3-5 years are critical because the strategic decisions Norway makes today will determine the speed and direction of this transition for decades to come.

Explore tailored strategies for the Construction, Textiles, Automotive, Electronics & Electricals and Fisheries & Aquaculture sectors…


The Plastsimulator is a tool designed to let you create and test personalised change scenarios, and understand the impact of different combinations of interventions across the full plastics value chain.

Featured exhibits


(for Single-Use and Durable Plastics)
Plastics have been indispensable for the growth of the seven sectors, but this has come at a high cost. ​

Today, the use of plastic across the seven sectors​ (Packaging, Household Goods, Construction, Textiles, Electronics, Automotive, Fisheries & Aquaculture) is:

very linear…


Reused or Recycled



Fossil based virgin feedstock

… and high GHG emitting


is incinerated



of total equivalent
Norwegian emissions*

…and if nothing changes the impact in Norway will worsen by 2040:​


Increased waste generation


Increased virgin feedstock production


Increased incineration


Increased GHG emissions

*total lifecycle emissions related to the use of plastic in Norway across the seven sectors divided by total Norway emissions​

70% circularity can be achieved under a System Change Net-Zero Scenario…

…while reducing environmental impacts and limiting the cost for society **

*including waste management abroad​
**vs 2020​​

Download a shareable version of this infographic

Further Reading

This study is part of the Breaking the Plastic Wave series

Latest Publications


Browse the latest system change publications from Systemiq