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European plastics recycling capacity on the rise

Installed capacity for plastic recycling in Europe increased by 17% in 2021 compared to the previous year, according to Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE). The figure totalled 11.3 million tonnes thanks to more than 730 recycling facilities.

A PRE report says processing of flexible PP & PE, PET and rigid PP & PE accounts for the largest proportion of the overall capacity in EU27+3, representing nearly 80%. Individually, the materials account for 28%, 26% and 25%.

Germany, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, and France have the biggest installed capacities, representing 67% of the market. Meanwhile, notable growth is being witnessed in Poland and the Netherlands. Investment in plastics recycling was estimated at EUR 1.75 billion in 2021.

‘The significant increase in plastics recycling shows the resilience of the industry in continuing its path towards plastics circularity,’ says organisation president Ton Emans. ‘This growth is mainly due to legislation as well as massive investments in the sector to ensure high-quality recycling and to meet circular economy targets.’

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