Europe and US are leading innovation in plastic recycling and alternative plastics globally, patent data shows

  • European Patent Office (EPO) study reveals that Europe and US together account for 60% of patenting activity worldwide related to plastic recycling and bioplastic technologies
  • Of all recycling technologies, chemical and biological methods generated highest level of patenting activity
  • Healthcare, cosmetics and detergent industries are at the forefront of innovation in bioplastics
  • EPO President António Campinos: “This report highlights Europe’s contribution towards a circular economy for plastics, but shows more can be done to transfer fundamental research to industry.”

From a global perspective, Europe and the US are leading innovation in plastic recycling and alternative plastics technologies, a new study published today by the European Patent Office (EPO) shows. Europe and the US each accounted for 30% of patenting activity worldwide in these sectors between 2010 and 2019, or 60% combined. Within Europe, Germany posted the highest share of patent activity in both plastic recycling and bioplastic technologies (8% of global total), while France, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium stand out for their higher specialisation in these fields.

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