EU – Over a recent 11-year period, the volume of packaging waste going to final disposal in Europe fell by 57% thanks largely to higher recycling levels and other forms of packaging waste recovery, according to a new report from the European Organization for Packaging and the Environment (Europen). In 2008, just over 17 million tonnes of packaging was sent for final disposal in the EU’s 27 member states, notes the organisation.
The report entitled ‘Packaging and Packaging Waste Statistics in Europe 1998-2008’ is said to contradict widely-held perceptions that packaging has led to a mountain of waste across Europe. Instead, it is claimed to confirm an earlier EU Commission assessment showing that packaging waste from households and commercial sources accounts for only around 3% of total waste. Indeed, it is estimated that 89 million tonnes of food are currently wasted in the EU-27 – equivalent to more than five times the volume of packaging waste.
The Europen analysis is also said to show that growth in packaging waste is clearly decoupling from growth in GDP – an objective of the EU’s waste strategy. In the 11-year period under review, the amount of packaging placed on the market (excluding wood packaging) climbed only 10% while the volume of packaging waste going to final disposal (also excluding wood) fell 43%.
The report can be downladed here