European plastic recycling capacity increased by 13% in 2020 new data shows


Plastic recycling capacity across the European Union, UK, Norway and Switzerland grew by 13% in 2020 data from Plastics Recycling Europe shows.

This meant there was an additional 1.1 million tonnes of capacity compared to 2019.


The dataset shows that PET, flexible PO and rigid HDPE and PP retain the biggest share of the overall plastics recycling capacity representing nearly 80%.

Germany, Italy, Spain, UK and France have the highest capacities for plastic waste recycling.

Rigid HDPE and PP registered the highest increase in recycling capacities with a rate of 20% while flexible PO grew by roughly 10%.

Plastic Recyclers Europe president Tom Emans said: “New business models open a wide array of opportunities in our industry.

“This is the case for film to film recycling – once deemed difficult and today a testament of the market maturing.”

The European recycling market now has a turnover of €7.7 billion (£6.47 billion) and has a total of 9.6 million tonnes of installed recycling capacity.

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