More than 1.8 million tonnes of PET bottles were collected and recycled in 2015 – up 5% on 2014 – according to the latest annual report from PCI Wood Mackenzie.
The figure means that nearly 59% of all bottles sold in the European market were collected for recycling in 2015 – itself an increase of 2% on the previous year – with volumes collected by 2020 expected to reach over 2 million metric tonnes.
“Petcore Europe is pleased to see this continuous growth in the European PET collection and recycling figures,” said Roberto Bertaggia, president of Petcore Europe, which represents the region’s PET packaging value chain. “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.”
The survey results not only reveal the success of PET collection and recycling in Europe, but also the challenges and future work that the PET industry is facing.
“Continuously trying to improve the growth rates in collection demonstrates the need to increase consumer awareness of and involvement in recycling, as well as improvement in collection systems and action by many member states,” said Helen McGeough, senior consultant in recycling and sustainability for PCI Wood Mackenzie. “The value of these resources needs promoting across society, from consumer to government, to ensure it is treated in the right way throughout its life and beyond.
“Clear bottles accounted for less than 15% of the stream, continuing the downward trend for clear bales in the total share of the available stream and highlighting the need for greater expenditure in sorting activities. The process loss rate is on an upward trend, this rising rate equates to a mounting cost to the industry and backs the calls by the industry for improved collection within the circular economy proposal.”
The report reveals strong growth in recycling input and output, with the average operating rate improving compared to 2014. The trend in the trade of bales also went in favour of the domestic reclamation industry in 2015, the report said.
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