Nearly 60 percent of PET bottles and containers in the European market in 2016 were collected and recycled during the year, according to a recent PCI Wood Mackenzie PET recycling survey for Western Europe.
In a Dec. 18 statement, the European PET association Petcore Europe said the survey found that out of 3.147 million metric tons of PET bottles and containers —or 59.8 percent of the total nearly 1.881 million tonnes produced — were collected.
Of that amount, 1.773 million tonnes were mechanically recycled, according to the survey which was commissioned by Petcore Europe.
Collection rates increased by 7.4 percent, while the recycling rates also grew by 7.3 percent.
In 2016, that resulted in 129,400 more tonnes collected and 120,000 more tonnes more recycled from PET compared to 2014.
"These PET collection and recycling rates are unreached in the plastics packaging industry while it is worth mentioning that PET recyclers still have unexploited capacities for recycling," said Paola Arlotti of Equipolymers and Petcore Europe president.
"The figures clearly outline the crucial role of PET in a circular economy, and for reaching the plastics recycling targets currently discussed on [European Union] level."
France, Germany and Italy represent 47.9 percent of the total volume collected in the region, which was in line with the gradual decline in the top three's share: 48.5 percent in 2014 and 53.3 percent in 2011. Spain and the United Kingdom have also are part of the top five recyclers in the region, jointly accounting for 70.9 percent of all EU collections.