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Plastics recovery increases but landfilling still high

More plastics waste was recovered last year but a third of it still ended up in landfill, the British Plastics Federation (BPF) has said.

At K2013, the world’s largest plastics fair, the UK plastics body presented figures for plastics waste management in 2012.

It indicated that the European plastics recovery rate grew 4% year-on-year to reach an average of 61.9%.

Between 2011 and 2012 plastics recycling increased 4.9% to 26.3%, while energy recovery was up 3.3% to 35.6%.

Despite growing recovery rates, the BPF noted that as much as 9 million tonnes of plastics waste had been landfilled. This constituted more than a third of plastics waste material.

Wilfried Haensel, executive director of PlasticsEurope, the BPF’s European partner, said the plastics industry was striving to achieve the goal of sending zero plastics to landfill by 2020.

However, he added that at the current pace of growth the ambitious goal was “significantly jeopardised”.

“Therefore, the plastic industry calls on the policy makers to support this ambitious goal by taking measures to avoid landfilling of recyclable and high calorific waste,” he said.

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