LONDON - Europeans will earn $2.53 billion from recycling 4.18 million tons of post-consumer plastic in 2000, according to a Frost & Sullivan Inc. report. The study, ``European Recycled Plastic Markets,'' expects the region to weigh in at $1.18 billion and 2.2 million tons this year, with Germany recycling 27.1 percent of the total.
Other likely market share leaders this year are Italy at 14.8 percent and Spain and Portugal, listed together at 14.7 percent.
But in 2000, Frost & Sullivan predicts the No. 1 and No. 2 market-share leaders will change places.
Italy will lead in market share with 20.3 percent of the 4.18 million tons, while Germany will follow with 19 percent, according to the report.
The study, which covers 1990-2000, predicts France will rank third in five years at 15.3 percent, followed by Spain and Portugal at 13.4 percent and the United Kingdom at 12.7 percent.
Polyethylene is the most recycled plastic in Western Europe. Frost & Sullivan predicts PE and polypropylene will remain the most heavily recycled plastics in 2000, but it forecasts that PET will climb to the No. 3 spot, accounting for 9.1 percent of the plastics recycled in Europe, compared with 5.6 percent this year.
The New York-based firm expects recycling capacity to grow consistently in Western Europe, following increases in the scale of collection operations. It predicts feedstock recycling (converting plastics back into base chemicals) will surpass mechanical recycling (chipping and pelletizing) by 2000.