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Leonidas Milios

Leonidas Milios

Postdoctoral fellow

Leonidas Milios

Plastic recycling in the Nordics: A value chain market analysis


  • Leonidas Milios
  • Lena Holm Christensen
  • David McKinnon
  • Camilla Christensen
  • Marie Katrine Rasch
  • Mikael Hallstrøm Eriksen

Summary, in English

There is low utilisation of plastic waste in the Nordic region and only a fraction of plastic materials go back into production processes through reuse and recycling practices. This paper aims to increase knowledge concerning factors that inhibit demand for recycled plastics, and to identify critical barriers for plastic recycling across the regional plastics value chain. A literature review and targeted interviews with key actors across the plastics value chain enabled the mapping of interactions between the major actors and identified hotspots that act as barriers to the flow of plastic materials. Barriers identified include the lack of both supply and demand of recycled plastic and are mainly attributed to the fragmented market of secondary materials. The main hotspots identified are the low demand due to price considerations, insufficient traceability and transparency in value chain transactions, and general design deficiencies in the recyclability of products. Value chain coordination is considered as the most important intervention by the interviewees, followed by the need for increased investment in innovation and technology development. Complementary measures that could counteract the identified barriers include public procurement for resource efficiency, ban on the incineration of recyclable materials, and specifications on the design of plastic products for reducing the number of different polymers, and the number and usage of additives.


  • The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics

Publishing year







Waste Management: international journal of integrated waste management, science and technology



Document type

Journal article




  • Environmental Management


  • Plastic recycling
  • Recycling markets
  • Secondary raw materials
  • Circular economy




  • ISSN: 0956-053X