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Plastics Recyclers Europe comments on increased collection

Increased plastics waste collection numbers have not resulted in higher recycling rates

Plastics Recyclers Europe comments on increased collection

According to Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) new data on plastics waste management[1] shows important growth in plastics waste collection in Europe. This sudden increase of plastics collection is welcome news, as the organization says this is an essential step towards plastics recycling, and could be proof that higher recycling rates are more achievable and realistic than expected, with the latest study suggesting a 60% recycling rate for plastic [2].

However, PRE says, the increase in plastics waste collected for recycling did not translate into increased plastics recycling in Europe. In fact, plastics recyclers have not seen an increase in feedstock for their plants. Furthermore, the exports of plastics waste have been globally stable over the last three years. Therefore, it can be questioned where over 1Mt of additionally collected plastics waste (6.6Mt collected for recycling in 2012 to 7.7Mt in 2014) have ended up.

PRE says this underlines the fact that quality collection and sorting are essential to drive investments and job creation in Europe. Additionally, the data on waste collection most become more transparent and harmonised across Europe. And thus, the new Circular Economy Package in Europe must structure the vital steps of collection, sorting and data reporting. According to PRE, it goes against the base of a circular economy that sorting is not mentioned in any of the EU legislation.

[1] Consultic - Plastics - the Facts 2015 -
[2] Study on an increased mechanical recycling target for plastics, BIOIS

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