A report from K 2013 states high recycling rates can be achieved
Many European nations have developed highly successful systems for the collection and recovery of plastics, says a K 2013 report.
The report draws on surveys from PlasticsEurope, which maintain that in 2011, 47 million tonnes of plastics were consumed in the 27 EU countries plus Switzerland and Norway, with 25 million tonnes of waste plastics collected.
60 percent of the plastics recovered were from collection systems, and the report commends Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Luxembourg for their exemplary collection rates ranging from Swizterland’s 99 percent, to Luxembourg’s 92 percent.
Six of the aforementioned nations, Norway, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria have the highest recycling rates in Europe, from 35 to 26 percent.
PET bottles are regarded as the most amenable products for recycling, as they lend themselves to a large field of products from fibres and films to simply becoming new bottles.
There are also closed-circuit systems such as PETcycle, which turn old bottles into new ones. The report states PET recycling achieves a market volume of 1 million tonnes per year in Europe, and asserts it does work.
However, there are some problems facing recycling. There are plastic items of different materials and when they cannot be sensibly separated, that causes obstacles for recycling. Also, certain products have residues that are difficult to entirely remove.
Many processes have established themselves, but recycling still has plenty of potential for improvement, according to the report. One opinion is that recyclable design should be examined, so that products can be made with a view to later recovery.