Around 1.59 million tonnes of discarded PET bottles were collected in Europe for recycling in 2011, some 140,000 tonnes more than in 2010. According to the organisation PET Container Recycling Europe (Petcore), last year's collection volume represented 51.0 per cent of the bottles brought onto the market for the year (2010: 48.3).
Petcore and the European Plastics Recyclers (EuPR) reported that 50 per cent of recycled PET was used to manufacture new bottles or other packaging. The use of PET flakes for fibre production held at 39 per cent, while the market for strapping recovered slightly. Around 100,000 tonnes of r-PET were used in strapping applications.
For the third year in a row, the volume of PET bales to the Far East declined. The chairman of EuPR's PET Wroking Group, Casper van den Dungen, noted that European recycling plants had also only operated at 77 per cent of capacity last year (2010: 79 per cent).