PET is the most recycled plastic material in Europe, according to a Brussels-based trade association.
New figures from Petcore Europe, a non-profit trade body located in the Belgian capital, said the equivalent of around 65 billion bottles — 1.64 million metric tons — was recycled in the region last year, up 7 percent from 2012.
According to Petcore Europe chairman Roberto Bertaggia, PET demand was rising and its ability to be recycled was a factor in its success as a packaging material of choice.
“From a sustainability perspective, our industry is thrilled that last year the equivalent of around 56 percent of PET containers in circulation were collected for reclamation and recycling,” he added.
However Bertaggia warned that there was still a “huge disparity” in collection rates among member states.
“All stakeholders need to work together to align the collection processes to deliver the increased recycling objectives recently announced by the European Commission,” he added.
Casper van den Dungen, PET chairman at Plastics Recyclers Europe and a board member of Petcore Europe, said improved and standardized collection and sorting processes would help push recycling rates even further.