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European PET bottle recycling record

Archiv – According to European PET recycling organisation Petcore, the volume of PET plastic bottles collected for recycling in Europe reached almost 450 000 tonnes in 2002 – equivalent to a recovery rate of around 25%. This represented an increase of some 30% over the 2001 figure. According to European PET recycling organisation Petcore, the volume of PET plastic bottles collected for recycling in Europe reached almost 450 000 tonnes in 2002 – equivalent to a recovery rate of around 25%. This represented an increase of some 30% over the 2001 figure.
In total, Europe’s sorting stations offered 449 000 tonnes of sorted and baled PET to recycling outlets. Polyester fibre remains the largest recycled PET application with a 70.5% share. Significant growth was observed in bottle-to-bottle recycling, up 60% to an overall market share of 8.1%. The polyester sheet market for recycled PET declined to 9.6% probably as a result of an increase in imports of low-priced PET from the Far East. Strapping volumes remained stable with a market share of 8.7%.
Petcore’€™s Director General Frank Koelewijn expects this robust growth to continue. ’Europe is now the largest PET recycling region in the world,’€™ he observes. ‘€˜I expect that, before the end of this decade, we will have reached the magical number of one million tonnes. This assumes that Germany will pick up their fair share.’€™
The introduction of a deposit in Germany has led to ‘€˜chaos’€™, according to Mr Koelewijn. ‘€˜Citizens are unable to bring their empty bottles back because return systems are virtually non-existent. This is not only bad for the environment, but also for the economy and society as a whole.’€™ In 2002, Germany achieved the highest PET recycling growth of any country whereas this year the country is expected to fall 60 000 tonnes short of forecast. Estimates for the combined drinks and recycling industry indicate a loss of ‘‚¬ 4 billion in 2003 alone.
Other countries with high PET recycling growth rates include Austria, the Baltic States, Belgium, France, Hungary, Poland, Spain and Switzerland.

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