Over 77 percent of total European plastic waste is generated by seven countries, and of those, the UK is the worst when it comes to recycling and energy recovery, according to a recent report by Wrights GPX Plastics.
The report notes that although there has been a positive trend in the recovery and recycling of plastics over the past five years in Europe, the total amount of post-consumer plastics waste has been increasing. With a disposal rate of 38.1 percent, further action is necessary in order to achieve zero plastics waste to landfills by 2020 in Europe.
According to the report, seven countries generate more than three-quarters of total European plastic waste. They are Germany, Italy, UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Poland. The remaining 22 countries contribute just 23 percent of the overall total.
However, when it comes to total recycling and energy recovery rates, Germany ranks second, and the Netherlands and France also are in the top 10 for recovery. Spain, Poland and the UK are all in the bottom half of the recovery table.
According to the report, the UK’s location in the ranking is important, as it is a major waste contributor and yet ranks 22 out of 29 when it comes to recycling and energy recovery. Nonetheless, it should be noted that the UK has made some recycling achievements of late, particularly in the area of E-Waste.
The report notes that recycling needs a number of factors in order to make it an effective process, and one of those factors is the will to create the policies and make the investments required to achieve needed conditions.
The report also says that for UK companies to remain competitive, they must push for both changes in policy and infrastructure. In addition, they must push themselves within their own organizations and supply chains to make improvements that will make a difference.
In a similar spirit, UK recycling giant ECO Plastics recently warned lawmakers that England risks missing its EU recycling targets because of government cuts.