All the EU’s member countries in the region, except Malta, exceeded EU minimum levels of 22.5%.

Countries that form the EU 27+2 grouping recycled 5.4m tonnes in 2012, according to a new report published by an alliance of industry groups including the UK’s RECOUP and the European Association of Plastics Recycling & Recovery Organisations (EPRO).

The rate for 2012 was ahead of 2011’s 33.6% and “easily surpassed” the EU’s minimum target of 22.5%, the report said.

Energy recovery hit 34.5% (versus 33.2% in 2011) and a total of 69.2% (compared with 66.8% in 2011) of all plastic packaging waste was recovered, with the remainder going to landfill and incineration without energy recovery.

The EPRO report highlighted that with the exception of Malta all EU 27+2 countries exceeded minimum EU targets of 22.5% recycling, with 19 getting above 30%.

However, seven countries landfilled more than half their plastic packaging waste in 2012, including the UK, which dealt with 63% in this way.

According to research from EPRO, Holland topped the recycling leader board with 50.6%, followed by the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden and Estonia.

Liz Gyekye

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