Collection and recycling of PET rises in Western Europe / Recycling rate reaches 56 percent in 2016 / Petcore Europe report
Across Europe, just under 60% of bottles and containers made from PET were collected in 2016. The recycling rate for these 3.15m t of PET packaging was 56% or 1.7m t. This data comes out of the annual study done by PCI Wood Mackenzie for Petcore Europe (Brussels / Belgium; Compared to 2014, collection and recycling rates rose by 7.4% and 7.3%, respectively.

"These PET collection and recycling rates are unreached in the plastics packaging industry," says Equipolymers' Paola Arlotti , who is also president of Petcore Europe. Many recyclers still have unexploited capacities, and PET plays a "crucial" role in the circular economy and reaching EU recycling targets (see of 22.12.2017), adds Arlotti.

France, Germany and Italy alone – the three largest EU markets – accounted for 47.9% of collected volumes. However, the share of these three countries in favour of other EU countries is steadily declining. In 2014 and 2011, they totalled 48.5% and 53.3% of the total volume, respectively. Meanwhile, Spain and the UK continue to contribute a significant proportion. These top five countries together accounted for 70.9% of PET recycling in 2016.

Another recent report done by Deloitte and PRE on plastics packaging recycling in the EU (see of 02.01.2018), published country-specific analysis. According to Petcore data in this report, PET bottle collection rates in 2015 of the aforementioned five countries were 94% in Germany, 60% in Spain, 56% in France, 53% in the UK and 42% in Italy.

The quality of the waste stream has improved a bit, says the PCI report, with 17.3% of bales made of clear PET in 2016, around 2.1% more than in 2014. However, other bales composed of coloured PET (26.4% clear/light blue bottles, 25.5% mixed colours including green/brown bottles and 30.8% unspecified mixed colours) continue to pose major challenges for the recycling industry. Detailed analysis of these waste streams will be part of a Petcore-commissioned study in 2018.

In order to increase recycling rates, collection and sorting must be made more efficient. In this way, the high rate or wasted material in the recycling phase can be reduced, and contribute to cost reduction of the total system in the long term, says Petcore.

Recycled PET continues to be used primarily for films (38%), followed by blow moulding applications (26%) and fibres (24%). Worldwide rPET consumption is growing almost 7% per year (see of 13.10.2017).
04.01.2018 995 [238675-0]
Published on 04.01.2018
PET-Recycling: Sammlung und Verwertung nimmt deutlich zuGerman version of this article...

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