PET is the most recycled plastic material in Europe, according to Brussels-based trade association Petcore Europe. According to the newest report published by this association, the equivalent of around 65 billion bottles was recycled in 2013.
"The demand for PET as the packaging material of choice continues to grow, penetrating new markets with innovative applications," said Petcore Europe Chairman Roberto Bertaggia.
In his opinion, the extraordinary ability of PET to be recycled and reused in a variety of end uses is part of this success story. "It is helping toward the movement to a circular economy in Europe," he added
"From a sustainability perspective, our industry is thrilled that last year the equivalent of around 56% of PET containers in circulation were collected for reclamation and recycling," said Bertaggia.
However, he also sounded a note of caution, pointing out a huge disparity in collection rates among EU member states. "All stakeholders need to work together to align the collection processes to deliver the increased recycling objectives recently announced by the European Commission," he stressed.
Casper van den Dungen, PET Chairman at PRE (Plastics Recyclers Europe) and a Petcore Europe board member, said that "the overall collection of PET bottles in Europe at 1.64Mt represents a 7% increase on last year. We still have considerable spare recycling capacity to enable us to recycle more.
"However, one of the factors that will reduce our ability to utilize our available spare capacity is the increasing complexity of some collected baled bottles," he explained. "Improved and standardized collection and sorting processes would help address this situation."
Post Consumer PET Recycling in Europe 2013 and Prospects to 2018 was prepared for Petcore Europe by PCI PET Packaging, Resin, & Recycling Ltd. The findings of this latest report will be presented during the PET Network Day 2014 conference in Brussels on Oct. 9, 2014.