Surge in Europe's PET bottle recycling

Europe: With more than 1.8 million tonnes of PET bottles collected and recycled, Europe's PET collection and recycling rate approached 59% last year, according to the annual PCI Wood Mackenzie report. This represents a surge in the volume collected of 5% when compared to 2014.

Referring to recycling inputs and outputs, PCI Wood Mackenzie speaks of ‘a strong growth’ in 2015, with average operating rates improving from 2014.

Clear bottles accounted for less than 15% of last year’s overall stream, continuing the downtrend for clear bales in the total available stream and highlighting the need for greater expenditure on sorting activities, the report notes. It also underlines the need for improved collection and sorting systems throughout Europe.

Petcore Europe, the association representing the complete PET value chain, is ‘pleased to see this continuous growth in the European PET collection and recycling figures’, comments its president Roberto Bertaggia. ‘In the context of the Circular Economy, it becomes more and more clear that PET recycling takes a crucial role and significantly contributes to achieving the set plastics recycling targets.’

According to the report, annual collection volumes are expected to exceed 2 million tonnes by 2020, with an anticipated collection rate of more than 60%.

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