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European packaging waste to disposal decreases by 57% since 1998

The amount of packaging waste produced in Europe has fallen by 57% over the past 11 years despite economic growth of 48%, analysis by Europen has found.

The European organisation for packaging and the environment has published the report Packaging and Packaging Waste Statistics: 1998-2008, which shows that non-wood packaging waste is decoupling from growth in Gross Domestic Product.

The EU15, which began recording data for the European Commission in 1997, is estimated to have sent 43% less waste to disposal in 2008. The 11 ‘new’ member states were estimated to reduce the amount of packaging going to disposal by 6.8% per year on average.

According to data, the amount of packaging consumed by Europe has increased by 10% since 1998, even though there is an ageing population and there is a trend towards smaller households, which tend to consume more packaging.

Europen managing director Julian Carroll said: “The data supports our view that the 1994 Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste is clearly one of the most successful pieces of EU environment legislation, something in which all participants can take pride. This is particularly true for consumers who, across the EU, are increasingly accepting the sorting of packaging in their homes for recycling as a routine activity.”

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