Plastic packaging recycling grows in Europe's developing economies

Plastic packaging recycling grows in Europe's developing economies

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Nov. 21, 2013

Between 2010 and 2011, recycling of plastic packaging in Europe increased slightly, buoyed by significant progress in countries with developing economies.

Data released by Eurostat estimate that the 27 EU member countries active as of 2011 combined for a packaging recycling rate of 34.3 percent, a full percentage point up from 2010 totals. Developed economies saw plastic packaging recycling remain flat and even decline in some countries, while developing economies saw growth of several percentage points.

For example, year-over-year (YOY), Germany saw its plastic packaging recycling rate drop from 49.4 percent in 2010 to 48.5 percent. France saw its recycling rate drop 0.4 percentage points to settle at 23.3 percent for 2011. The U.K. was essentially flat, increasing its plastic packaging recycling rate just 0.1 percentage points, to 24.2 percent.

The biggest gains were seen in Eastern European and developing economies. Romania, which posted a plastic packaging recycling rate of 28.2 percent in 2010, improved by more than 12 percentage points and recycled 40.3 percent of its plastic packaging in 2011. Malta went from recycling 22.0 percent of plastic packaging in 2010 to recycling 28.9 percent in 2011, while Slovenia managed to recycle 75.5 percent of its plastic packaging during 2011, by far the highest rate of all EU member countries. Additionally, Ireland outperformed the U.K. and raised its plastic packaging recycling rate from 39.4 percent in 2010 to 47.5 percent in 2011.

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