PETCORE EUROPE has published new figures that show that Europe recycled the equivalent of around 65 billion (1.64 million tonnes) PET bottles in 2013. This represents a 7% increase on 2012, according to the non-profit trade body.

Speaking about the new figures, PETCORE EUROPE chairman Roberto Bertaggia said: “The demand for PET as the packaging material of choice continues to grow, penetrating new markets with innovative applications.

“The extraordinary ability of PET to be recycled and reused into a wide variety of end uses is part of this success story and is helping towards the movement to a circular economy in Europe.

“From a sustainability perspective, our industry is thrilled that last year the equivalent of around 56% of PET containers in circulation were collected for reclamation and recycling.”

However, Bertaggia warned that there was still a “huge disparity” in collection rates amongst member states.

He explained: “All stakeholders need to work together to align the collection processes to deliver the increased recycling objectives recently announced by the European Commission.”

PET chairman at Plastics Recyclers Europe and board member of PETCORE EUROPE Casper van den Dungen said that Europe still had “considerable spare recycling capacity to enable us to recycle more”.

He said improved and standardised collection and sorting processes would help push recycling rates even further.

Liz Gyekye

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