Plastics recycling in Europe exceeds target

NEW RESEARCH from the European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations (EPRO) has revealed that the European plastics recycling rate reached 34.7% in 2012.


All European Union member states, with the exception of Malta, reported plastics recycling rates exceeding the EU minimum target of 22.5%.


Nineteen countries reported rates of over 30%, with the Netherlands topping the chart with a rate of 50.6%.


The report also showed that there was a large discrepancy between EU countries and their energy recovery from plastics rates.


Across the EU nine countries recovered energy from more than 50% of their plastic packaging waste in 2012 and obtained a total recovery rate (recycling + energy recovery) of above 90%. This means that less than 10% was landfilled in these countries.


At the other end of the ranking list, EPRO found a couple of countries that still does not energy recover any plastic waste.


Seven countries landfilled more than 50% of their plastic packaging waste, among them UK with 63%. The breakdown of waste production showed that only 37% of plastic recycling was generated by trade and industry, leaving much to be done by British businesses.