Eurostat: little improvement on packaging recycling in 2018

The overall recycling rate for packaging
waste in the EU slipped in 2018.
14.12.2020 − 

All in all, the European Union’s 27 member states recycled less packaging waste in 2018 than they did in 2017. Recently released Eurostat data show that the overall recycling rate for packaging declined from 67.5 to 66.3 per cent. Eurostat did identify small rises in the average recycling rates for plastic packaging and metal packaging. On the other hand, the recycling rates for paper and board packaging and wood packaging decreased – markedly so for of wood packaging.

This sets up a significant challenge for member states who will face stiffer packaging waste recycling targets under the revised EU directive on on Packaging and Packaging Waste (PPWD). The legislation was adopted as part of the Waste Package in 2018 and entered into force this year. Moreover, compliance with future targets, specifically with the targets being introduced in 2025 and 2030, will be based on calculations using measuring points at different stages of the recycling process. It is expected that the resulting recycling rates will be substantially lower than at present.

Belgium still leads on packaging recycling

In 2018, Belgium again registered the highest overall recycling rate across all types of packaging. According to Eurostat, some 85.3 (2017: 83.8) per cent of the total amount of packaging waste generated in Belgium served as input to an effective recycling process in the reporting period. With a recycling rate of 68.5 per cent, Germany was slightly above the EU average in 2018. Were the recycling rates calculated using the new methodology expected to be comparable to old rates, Germany and 15 other countries would already have achieved recycling rates exceeding the EU Packaging Directive’s minimum target of 65 per cent by weight by the end of 2025.


The full article on EU member states' packaging recycling performance can be read in the current issue of EUWID Recycling & Waste Management 26/2020. Premium Subscribers can read the full article right away in our e-paper issue:

E-Paper - EUWID Recycling & Waste Management

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