PE film recycling growing / Positive effects from China's import ban / Move to recyclable mono-materials needed
Since 2015, the European capacity for recycling flexible PE (LDPE, LLDPE, MDPE and HDPE) has grown from 1.5m t/y to 2.3m t/y, according to industry organisation Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE, Brussels / Belgium; Data from Applied Market Information (AMI, Bristol / UK; show that Europe has a PE film extrusion capacity of 7.4m t/y, with steady growth expected over the next several years – see of 22.04.2016. The EU recycling rate for PE film is then roughly 31%.

Across Europe, 174 plastics recyclers have been analysed, and five countries represent almost two thirds of the installed recycling capacity – Spain (18%), Germany (17%), Italy (13%), Poland (10%) and France (6%). The main sources of flexible PE waste are commercial/retailers (43%), production (23%), agriculture (17%) and household packaging (13%).

PRE president and chairman of the PE working group Ton Emans says, "the plastics recycling sector has been very dynamic in the last few years," showing that the industry is on the way to increasing the circularity of plastics. He notes that the EU plastics strategy gives clear targets, and China’s waste import ban is driving investments in sorting and recycling plants, which have already had a positive impact on new projects in Europe.

"This is especially the case for household flexible plastics waste. The latest technological developments enable efficient sorting, washing, extrusion and filtering of the plastics," he says. Improvements are still needed in design for recycling. Emans sees a need to move to mono-material alternatives that can be recycled, away from multilayer materials, which remain unrecyclable.

Plastics Recyclers Europe is continuing to analyse recycling capacities for all plastic waste streams. In this way, the organisation is monitoring progress toward a circular economy.
28.02.2018 [239135-0]
Published on 28.02.2018
Recycling: Starker Ausbau der Anlagen für RE PE in EuropaGerman version of this article...

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