Implications of the circular economy and digital transition on skills and green jobs in the plastics industry

By Carola Guyot Phung
Researcher, i3-CRG laboratory, Ecole Polytechnique

Europe’s plastics industry employs 1.5 million people and its 60,000 businesses generate revenue of €350 billion. This industry is particularly impacted by the rise of the circular economy and digital transition: in addition to changing businesses’ economic models, these developments also bring with them structural and workforce changes that require taking a fresh look at traditional roles and their associated skill sets. Jobs are changing in shape and content, from design to production, all the way to waste recovery. The arrival of cobotization (human-robot collaboration) and blockchain are part of this movement. Businesses and training bodies are adapting their support strategies in response to this phenomenon and growing skills hybridization.