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PET bottle recycling up over 50% in Europe

July 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Positive figures emerged from Europe recently with the news that recycling levels for PET bottles across the EU last year were up 9.4% to 1.59 million tonnes compared to the previous year.

The figures were released by Petcore (PET Containers Recycling Europe) and EuPR (the European Plastics Recyclers), which are the European recycling trade bodies, and the collection of PET bottles in Europe is now an impressive 51%.

The figures were revealed in a study titled the ‘Post Consumer PET recycling in Europe 2011 and Prospects to 2016’. The study also stated that only three countries in the EU had less than 22.5% recycling rate, which is the target set by the Packaging Waste Directive.

Indeed, over a third of the countries were boasting collection rates of over 70%.

Despite the increasing amount of recycling of PET bottles, there is still more that needs to be done. The total capacity for recycling this material is thought to be 1.9 million tonnes, so there is still a lot more potential. Indeed, Casper van den Dungen, the chair of the EuPR PET Working Group, said that currently we are only using 77% of the total capacity of the recycle plants.

The chairman of Petcore, Roberto Bertaggia, said that he was delighted that the recycling rate had broken through the 50% barrier, and that a total of 140 kilotonnes extra was collected in 2011 compared to the previous year, which amounts to 5.6 billion bottles. He also pledged to “continue to develop and promote PET’s recyclability”.

These positive figures will hopefully spur both the public and the government in the UK to improve the country’s PET recycling rates even further.

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