European plastics recycling growing along with plastics production


New statistics from PlasticsEurope has shown that the production of plastic in Europe continues to grow.

At the same time, the overall recovery rate for plastics is also increasing.


First estimates of 2012 data shows that despite continuous growth for more than 50 years, global plastics production fell at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 during the economic crisis.

However, over the last three years the compound annual growth rate has been 8.7 per cent on a global scale.

In the EU27 countries, demand for plastics was 45.5 million tonnes in 2012, which was 3.2 per cent lower than in 2011. Of this, packaging represented 40.2 per cent of the plastics with building and construction the next highest user at 20.8 per cent.

The overall recovery rate including recycling and energy recovery for plastics across Europe was 59.6 per cent. For the UK, this had increased to 27.3 per cent. For recycling specifically, the rate was 25.1 per cent in Europe and 19.9 per cent in the UK.

PlasticsEurope regional director north Kim Christiansen: “Despite global slow recovery, the plastics industry is optimistic that Europe remains a core centre of its activities, which is why it invests heavily in R&D to guarantee innovation and economic growth in the European Union.”