Plastics Progress Tool

Companies are increasingly setting goals and strategies for more sustainable consumption of plastics, yet few have the necessary tools to properly map their use. The Plastics Progress Tools project aims to develop a methodology to enable follow-up on the use of plastics among Swedish companies. The goal is to help find more unified ways of measuring, which can form a basis for strategic prioritization and decision making. But the road to get there is a difficult one.

The Issue

Company goals provide a starting point for the elimination of unnecessary plastics and increase in recycling rates – it is an important statement of intent and a step towards a revolution in the way companies use plastics. However, the targets need to be complemented with a baseline of the current situation. But measurement and following up is challenging as plastics are found everywhere and in countless variants and shapes. There is currently no standard for how Swedish companies should map their use of plastics in the same way as, for example, climate calculations are carried out according to the greenhouse gas protocol. Current solutions typically exist on an individual company level and are adapted to each company’s unique conditions. It is this challenge that the Plastics Progress Tool project aimed to address.

“With increased knowledge of what the plastics situation looks like, companies are offered a stronger foundation for making strategic priorities in relation to objectives regarding the use of plastics.” – Hanna Skoog, Program Director Circular Economy, Axfoundation

Did you know that…

  • Global plastics consumption is expected to quadruple in the coming century. EU plastics emissions are expected to almost double by 2050.
  • The material value of plastics is lost by as much as 95% after just one cycle of use. Approx. 98% of all plastics are virgin and only 1% is recycled to the equivalent quality.

Source: Material Economics

Our Solution

The Plastics Progress Tools support companies on their journey towards more responsible use of plastics. The methodology describes how companies can take a step-by-step approach to set goals and key performance indicators (KPI’s), collecting data and analysing the results. A list of definitions was created to support collaboration and to create a common language around some of the complex terms related to plastics.

The Plastics Progress Tools was developed in collaboration with companies in the retail sector but can be applied to other organizations as well.

The methodology and list of definitions are currently available in Swedish.


The Plastics Progress Tools were developed in collaboration with Axel Johnson AB, 2050, and an expert group consisting of representatives from Åhléns, KICKS, Axfood, Martin & Servera, Filippa K, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Dagab, Dustin, Axel Johnson International, Förpacknings- och tidningsinsamlingen (FTI), DLF, Swedish Plastic Recycling, Återvinningsindustrierna, The Swedish Food Retailers Federation, The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, GS1 Sweden and The Swedish Trade Federation.


Projects within Circular Economy