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Recycling is a €60 billion industry in Europe says new report

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The recycling industry in Europe has a turnover of €60 billion (£51 billion), according to a new report from the European Environment Agency.

In the report, Earnings, Jobs and Innovation: the role of recycling in a green economy, it shows that the revenues from recycling are substantial and growing fast. Between 2004 to 2008, the turnover of the seven main categories almost doubled to more than €60 billion, but due to the decline in price for secondary commodities in 2008 and the first half of 2009, this fell but now seems to have recovered.

The report says that the growth of recycling is being driven by increasing demand for recyclables as booming Asian nations put up the price of materials.

Another driver has been the EU waste directives which have discouraged landfilling and encourage recycling. As a result, the amount of recyclables sorted and placed on the market has increased by 15 per cent between 2004 and 2009.

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