Packaging waste in rapid decline across Europe
The amount of packaging waste going to landfill across Europe has fallen by 57% over the past 11 years, new analysis has shown.
The fall is being driven by higher recycling and recovery levels in the EU 27 member states, according to the European Organisation for Packaging & the Environment (EUROPEN) who carried out the research.
In 2008, the member states sent just over 17M tonnes of packaging to landfill. Despite an ageing population and a trend towards smaller households, over the 11-year period the amount of packaging placed on the market (excluding wood) rose by just 10%.
The report Packaging & Packaging Waste Statistics in Europe 1998-2008 also found that packaging waste from households and commercial sources accounts for only 3% per cent of total waste.
Commenting on the findings, EUROPEN's managing director, Julian Carroll, said: "The data supports our view that the 1994 Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste is one of the most successful pieces of EU environmental legislation."
The EU Directive set a packaging recycling target of 55% to be reached in 12 member states by 2008, with the remainder to reach the same target between 2011 and 2015.
By 2008, three of the remainder had passed the 55% target and the majority of the rest were approaching or already beyond a 50% recycling rate.