The report is divided into two main topics. The first topic focuses on plastic waste, utilising the long-existing waste account, supplemented with new data. The second topic delves deeper into the product side, outlining the initial steps in creating a model and presenting preliminary results.

Part A: Plastic waste

The massive consumption of plastic products has generated a huge amount of plastic waste, which has led to environmental pollution and health hazards. It is therefore important to understand the various elements of the plastic production and waste management chain.

The first part of this report aims to provide a first overview of plastic waste and the amounts and treatments that are used. Data from the waste accounts, which is the overall umbrella statistics on waste in Norway, sorting analysis and several external articles and sources has been utilised to provide results by sector and product groups. A preliminary estimate suggested that in 2021, approximately 620 000 tonnes of plastic waste was generated, where less than 30 per cent was material recovered.

Part B: Plastic products

The second part of the report describes a methodology for estimating the total amount of plastic put on the Norwegian market. The work is still at an early phase, and under development.

Two main data sources have been used, (1) external trade statistic, covering the import and export of products and (2) manufacturing production statistics, covering the domestic production. These are well established statistics within Statistics Norway, containing time series that extend back in time.

Plastic products have been divided into the three distinct groups, (1) primary plastic, (2) semi-finished and finished plastic products and (3) plastic containing products. Preliminary estimates have been generated for these three groups encompassing import, export and domestic production, in addition to “net plactic”, defined as production + import – export.

In 2021, the net primary plastic put on the Norwegian market was estimated to approximately 410 000 tonnes. For semi-finished and finished plastic products, and plastic containing products the amounts was estimated to be 570 000 and 330 000 tonnes respectively.

In terms of export of plastic, primary plastic clearly constitutes the largest group, with around 435 000 tonnes leaving the country. The import side is more evenly distributed among the three – 330 000 tonnes primary plastic, 420 000 tonnes semi-finished and finished and 390 000 tonnes plastic containing products.