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Resource Efficiency

Latest EUROPEN report shows packaging recycling rates on the right path


EUROPEN, the European Organization for Packaging and the Environment, recently published an in-depth analysis of official EU data on the evolution of packaging waste rates. The analysis demonstrates the packaging supply chain’s continued commitment towards Europe’s resource efficiency objectives, reflected by the yearly increases in packaging recycling rates and decreasing packaging waste going to landfill. Read more…

The Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) aims to minimise the environmental impact of packaging and packaging waste. It lays down measures to reduce the generation of packaging waste and sets recovery and recycling targets. EUROPEN regularly analyses data submitted to the European Commission by Member States. The most recent analysis provides an overview of the latest reported packaging consumption, treatment and disposal figures from the 27 EU Member States for the year 2011 and examines the trends since 1998.

The analysis indicates the amount of packaging being placed on the market has been increasing much more slowly than growth in consumer spending and other indicators. This suggests that packaging production and packaging waste disposal have been decoupled from economic growth. The amount of used packaging sent for final disposal is declining as recovery rates, and particularly recycling rates, continue to increase – in 2011, recycling rates of packaging placed on the market was 65% in the older Member States (EU-15) and 51% in the newer Member States (EU-12). The analysis states that the accuracy and comparability of the data which the Member States submit to EUROSTAT needs to be improved, and encourages a harmonised methodology for reporting to allow greater consistency.

EUROPEN also outlines a number of recommendations on the basis of its analysis to ensure recycling rates continue to increase. It encourages any revisions to the PPWD to contain binding minimum requirements for extended producer responsibility for packaging waste and to harmonise definitions in EU waste legislation.

Find more info:

Press release 

Packaging and Packaging Waste Statistics 1998-2011 

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