null EU recycled 41% of plastic packaging waste in 2019


© Evan Lorne /

Logo Statistics Explained

In 2019, each person living in the EU generated 34.4 kg of plastic packaging waste, out of which 14.1 kg was recycled.

Between 2009 and 2019, the volume of plastic packaging waste generated per inhabitant increased by 24% (+6.7 kg). The recycling volume of plastic packaging waste increased sharply over the same period, by 50% (+4.7 kg). Despite this improvement, the amount of plastic packaging that wasn’t recycled increased by 2.0 kg per inhabitant since 2009 due to the greater increase in the absolute value of plastic packaging waste generated.



Line chart: Plastic packaging waste generated and recycled in the EU, 2009-2019, in kg

Source dataset: env_waspac

In 2019, an estimated 41% of plastic packaging waste was recycled in the EU. Nine EU Member States recycled more than half of the plastic packaging waste generated: Lithuania (70%), Czechia (61%), Bulgaria (59%, 2018 data), the Netherlands (57%), Sweden and Slovakia (both 53%), Spain (52%), Cyprus (51%) and Slovenia (50%).

In contrast, less than one-third of plastic packaging waste was recycled in Malta (11%, 2018 data), France (27%), Ireland (28%), Austria (31%), Poland (32%) and Hungary (33%).

Bar chart: Recycling rate of plastic packaging waste, EU, EU Member States and EFTA countries, 2019, %

Source dataset: env_waspacr


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