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Czech Republic a PET bottle recycling leader

Czech Republic – The Czech Republic has doubled the volume of plastics being recycled in less than a decade, Eurostat has reported. This puts the country in second place when it comes to recycling plastic PET bottles and in fourth place when looking at Europe’s overall packaging recycling performance.

Compared to the year 2000, the EU recovered and reprocessed 52% more waste through recycling and composting in 2013. Meanwhile, the recycling and composting share increased from 36.3% in 2008 to 41.8% in 2013, Eurostat reveals.

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic has now recorded a 30% recycling rate versus the 7% at the beginning of the millennium; its recycling rate is nearly 70% for packaging overall and 58.2% for plastics packaging. The country has been transformed into ‘one of the leaders’ when it comes to plastic bottle recycling, says analyst Vojtěch Kotecký of the think-tank Glopolis. And yet, he has told Radio Prague, the general recycling rate is ‘lagging far behind’ that of more progressive nations such as Germany on 65% and Belgium on 70%.

While there has been progress since national legislation was updated in 2001 to establish a recycling network across the country, recycling remains ‘hugely inconvenient’ for many inhabitants, Kotecký points out. This is partly because recycling bins are often not ideally situated and certain types of waste – such as bio-waste – slip through the ‘gaps’ in the recycling system.

The plastic bottles segment is a notable exception and shows ‘what can be done’, the analyst notes. ‘Plastic recycling is relatively easy and the recycling network is in place, at least in a rudimentary sense.’

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