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for Durable Plastics



About Handelens Miljøfond

(Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund)
Handelens Miljøfond is Norway’s largest private environmental fund, and Norway’s most important measure for complying with the EU Plastic Bags Directive. The fund supports national and international projects that reduce plastic pollution, increase plastic recycling, and reduce the consumption of plastic bags.

The fund’s vision is to promote a circular plastic system and a pollution free environment. In 2021, Handelens Miljøfond launched “Achieving Circularity” together with Systemiq and Mepex. Part 1 of this study focused on post-consumer plastic packaging and non-electrical household products.

Handelens Miljiofond website


SYSTEMIQ is a B Corp founded in 2016 to drive the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals by transforming markets and business models in five key systems: nature and food, materials and circularity, energy, urban areas, and sustainable finance.

In 2020, SYSTEMIQ and The Pew Charitable Trusts published “Breaking the Plastic Wave: A Comprehensive Assessment of Pathways Towards Stopping Ocean Plastic Pollution,” an evidence-based roadmap that shows how industry and governments can radically reduce ocean plastic pollution by 2040, upon which this report is based. The findings of our analysis were published in the peer-reviewed journal, Science.

Contact Systemiq

About Mepex

Mepex is a Norwegian independent consultancy firm specializing in waste management, recycling and circular value chains. The aim is to be a catalyst for change, contributing to making the circular economy a reality through resource-efficient and climate-friendly solutions.

Mepex combines analytical competence with extensive experience in design, construction, and operation of waste management infrastructure to  support authorities, municipalities, organisations, and businesses in formulating strategies and achieving their environmental goals

Mepex website


“The world is facing a critical challenge that requires it to deepen its understanding of the root causes of plastic waste and pollution and define pathways to eliminate plastic pollution at a global scale. By 2024, a global treaty is expected to be negotiated by UN member states that enables a thriving circular plastic economy capable of eradicating plastic pollution.

Norway has the ambition to continue to be a frontrunner on addressing this challenge, and – together with Rwanda – is leading the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution,

committed to developing a successful global plastic treaty. The goal of this study is to lay out a pathway that can accelerate Norway’s own transition towards a low-emissions, zero-waste circular plastic economy by 2040. This is done through an in depth analysis of different sectors of the plastic system and identifying tailored roadmaps with strategies that design out waste and pollution, eliminate unnecessary production and consumption, keep products and materials in the economy, safely collect and dispose of waste that cannot be economically processed, and dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This report presents the findings of the second study in the series Achieving Circularity study. While the first study focused on the plastics in consumables and household products, categories with a single use or used for less than a year, this second study focuses on durable plastics in the most important sectors: Construction, Textiles, Electronics, Automotive, and Fishing & Aquaculture. These are five very distinct sectors, representing around 46% of total annual plastic demand in Norway today, but only around 25% of total waste, indicating that large quantities of durable plastic are accumulating in the economy.

Plastics have been instrumental in the growth of all five sectors, but around 80% of today’s system is linear, which means plastic is either incinerated or landfilled at end-of-life, or leaks into nature.

This study aims to build a clear “North Star”, linking plastics use, waste and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in an integrated way and painting a picture of the most ambitious levels of circularity for individual sectors to aim for.

This data-driven study was prepared in partnership with the Norwegian consultancy Mepex and 12 Norwegian and international experts.

It builds on the ‘Breaking the Plastic Wave’ methodology published by Systemiq and The Pew Charitable Trusts in 2020.

Norway is the first country to apply this methodology to durables and our hope and objective is that this report can strengthen collaboration between the different sectors, the petrochemical industry, and the recycling industry.

We hope that this study will guide policymakers, industry leaders, investors, and civil society in preparing the most effective initiatives to achieve a highly circular plastic economy that is aligned with national and global net-zero targets.”

Cecilie Lind

Handelens Miljøfond

Yoni Shiran



Durable plastics are accumulating in the Norwegian economy, and predominantly get incinerated for energy purposes while demand and GHG emissions are growing. This report presents tailored circularity interventions, which if enabled by policy, can accelerate Norway’s transition into a low emission society.

Elin HansenHead of Circular Economy, ZERO

Plastic is a fantastic material as its properties provide important possibilities of use. But plastic is also one of the biggest consumers of virgin fossil materials and a significant source of GHG emissions. High use combined with low reuse and recycling rates has created waste problems harming nature and wildlife. It simply cannot continue. Our members in the trade and service industry are committed to reducing the use of all unnecessary plastic and making plastic reusable and easy to recycle. Knowledge and cooperation are key to success. This report is an excellent example of both, and we hope its insights will be used by many.

Tord DaleHead of Sustainability, Federation of Norwergian Enterprises (Virke)

Significant amounts of plastic are accumulating in the Norwegian building stock. Given the long lifetimes of plastics in buildings, the failure to implement circular solutions today will result in the Norwegian plastics system being unable to cope with the large volumes of waste for decades to come. Circularity solutions are within reach and this report provides a roadmap to implementation, detailing where the opportunities lie to transform the system.

Guro HaugeDirector Sustainability & Social Policy, The Federation of Norwegian Construction Industries (BNL)

The textiles industry is working towards higher levels of circularity and reducing emissions throughout its value chains. The “Accelerating Circularity” report helps all stakeholders to better understand opportunities and challenges on this path. I encourage the entire industry to closely collaborate, within the sector and with other actors across the value chain, to truly advance to a sustainable plastics economy.

Linda RefvikCEO, NF&TA

It is clear the Norwegian Plastic System has to become more sustainable and less dependent on virgin materials. Circular design and circular business models will be key for companies to succeed in the future, and this report outlines the path to achieve this. I call on the Norwegian Electrical Industry to follow these recommendations.

Frank JaegtnesCEO, Elektroforeningen (EFO)

We need to acknowledge that the seafood industry contributes to a large amount of plastic use and marine plastic pollution - making our industry a significant contributor to marine waste along our shores. NCE Seafood Innovation believes that collaboration and knowledge sharing around industry challenges are essential to address our responsibility and tackle issues effectively. This report provides a solid foundation for action and offers findings and guidance that can help us improve and lead the way to a more circular plastic economy, for both the aquaculture and fishery industry, in Norway. We endorse this contribution.

Nina StrangelandManaging Director, The Seafood Innovation Cluster


Expert Panel

This work was developed together with a panel of 12 Norwegian experts with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. We would like to thank them for their insights, contributions and support.

Anja Ronesen

Marketing & Communications Manager

Åsa Stenmarck

Material Flow Expert
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

Christian Karl

Research Scientist
SINTEF Industry

Elisabete Fernandes Reia da Costa

Research Scientist
SINTEF Industry

Elisabeth Magnus

Former Senior Environmental advisor
Nordic Ecolabelling

Hanne Digre

Chief Sustainability Officer / PhD

Helene Øyangen Lindberg

Research Scientist
SINTEF Manufacturing

Kay Riksfjord

Downstream Manager
Board Member
BIR Plastic Committee

Kjersti Busch


Lars Fallmyr

Operations Manager
Bilgjenvinning AS

Linda Refvik


Thor Kamfjord

Director of Sustainability and Social Responsibility

Project core team


Yoni Shiran, Lead Partner

Peter Goult, Project Director

Marloes van der Meer, Project Manager

Andrea Bath, Associate

Hannah Maral, Associate

Trishla Shah, Associate

Andreas Wagner, GHG Expert

Ulrike Stein, Communications Lead

Handelens Miljøfond

Lars Brede Johansen, COO

Sjur Kvifte Nesheim, Analyst

Hanne M. Hjelmungen Lorvik, Communications Advisor


Frode Syversen, Mepex Managing Director

Miriam Mekki, Project Manager

Carl Frederik Mørch-Kontny, Analyst

Simen Randby, Analyst

Espen Mikkelborg, Analyst

Sølvi Rønnekleiv Haugedal, Analyst

Kristiane Rabben, Analyst


We would also like thank the following people who have generously contributed their time and expertise to the report:

Anne Slaaen: CEO and Creative Director Team Kameleon AS
Evelyn Luna Victoria: Oceans Senior Manager, WWF
Justin Greenaway: Commercial Manager, Sweeep Kuusakoski Ltd
Mike Muskett: Independent Consultant
Nadia Balducci: Clean Oceans Specialist, WWF
Paritosh Deshpande: Associate Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Pascal Leroy: Director General of the WEEE Forum
REV Ocean
Sarah Downes: External Affairs Manager, REPIC
Tim Huntington: General Manager Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd

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