New data on plastics waste management from leading European trade association PlasticsEurope (Brussels, Belgium) and the European Association of Plastics Recycling & Recovery (EPRO; Wemmel, Belgium) shows a positive growth in Europe. During 2014, recycling and energy recovery reached 69.2%, up from 62% in 2012. Of the 69.2%, 29.7% of these plastics were recycled, while 39.5% were sent for recovery. However, despite the jump in the amount of plastics waste recycled or recovered, of the 25.8 million tonnes of total post-consumer plastics waste, 8 million tonnes ended up in the landfill.
The report, Plastics: the Facts, found that countries with landfill ban achieve higher recycling rates. Norway came in at the top with a 40% recycling rate, while other countries that topped 30% were Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Ireland, Estonia, Slovenia, and Czech Republic. Ranking in last place was Malta with 14%.
The UK recycled 29% of its waste plastic.
The report also shows that 39.5% of plastic use came from the packaging sector, with building and construction following behind at 20.1%.