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Definition and development of functional barriers for the use of recycled materials in multilayer food packaging


Type of information: NEWS

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Rigid plastic packaging recycling capacity totals 1.7m t / Largest national shares in Italy, Germany, UK, Spain and France

Rigid plastic packaging recycling capacity totals 1.7m t / Largest national shares in Italy, Germany, UK, Spain and FrancePost-consumer rigid packaging waste in Europe is dominated by HDPE and PP (Photo: Fotolia/photka)Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE, Brussels / Belgium; has released numbers for European recycling capacities of rigid packaging made of polyethylene or polypropylene. In 2018, there was a total recycling capacity of 1.7m t of rigid, post-consumer and post-industrial polyolefins in Europe.

The countries with the highest shares of installed recycling capacity for these streams include Italy (25%), Germany (22%), the UK (15%), Spain (13%) and France (9%). There were 114 HDPE and PP recyclers located in Europe in 2018. The highest number of HDPE and PP facilities are in Italy and Spain, with Germany in third place, followed by the UK and France.

HDPE & PP working group chair Herbert Snell said demand for recycled plastics is rising and ?shifting towards a wider range of applications which require a new set of specifications.? He noted that in order to meet this demand and improve the quality of recyclate, it is essential to have better collection and design for recycling.

According to PRE, packaging is the main sector where rigid polyolefins are used in Europe. PE and PP are used in packaging food, household and personal care products, among others. The next biggest market for HDPE is building and construction, and for PP, it is the automotive industry. PRE has previously published European recycling capacities for other waste streams, including PET (2.1m t in 2017) ? see of 09.07.2018 ? and flexible PE (2.3m t in 2017) ? see of 28.02.2018.13.05.2019 [242431-0]

» Publication Date: 13/05/2019

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research, technological development and demonstration (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [606572].

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