Europe’s recycling rate for plastic packaging in 2012 hit 34.7 percent, according to new data, with all countries in the region bar Malta exceeding EU minimum levels of 22.5 percent.
Countries that formed the European Union (EU) 27+2 grouping recycled 5.4 million metric tons in 2012, according to a new report published by an alliance of industry groups including the UK’s Recoup and the European Association of Plastics Recycling & Recovery Organizations (Epro).
The rate for 2012 was ahead of 2011’s 33.6 percent and “easily surpassed” the EU’s minimum target of 22.5 percent, the report said.
Energy recovery hit 34.5 percent (vs. 33.2 percent in 2011) and a total of 69.2 percent (66.8 percent) of all plastic packaging waste was recovered, with the remainder going to landfill and incineration without energy recovery.
The Epro report said that with the exception of Malta all EU 27+2 countries exceeded minimum EU targets of 22.5 percent recycling, with 19 getting above 30 percent.
However seven countries landfilled more than half their plastic packaging waste in 2012, including the UK, which dealt with 63 percent in this way.
Holland topped the recycling leader board with 50.6 percent, followed by the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden and Estonia, the Epro document said.