Some 1.45m t of PET were collected for recycling across Europe in 2010 – a 6.5% year-on-year
increase, according to the latest collection figures published by Petcore (Brussels / Belgium; www.petcore.org) and the European Plastics Recyclers Association (EuPR, Brussels; www.eupr.org). Even though that was slightly less than the 8% year-on-year rise registered from 2008 to 2009 (see Plasteurope.com of 23.07.2010), Petcore board chairman Robert Bertaggia said that, “with every European country collecting PET bottles, the high year-on-year increases of earlier years had to fall, but the 6.5% increase in 2010 is an excellent result
The overall collection rate of PET bottles remained constant at 48.3% (2009: 48.4%). Altogether, some 25% of the resulting rPET went into blowmoulding applications, a 3% rise over 2009. The amount of PET recyclate that went into fibres decreased to 39% of the total. In 2008, that figure still stood at 45%, dropping down to 40% in 2009. Petcore says the recovery of the building and construction sector led to a rebound in rPET destined for strapping applications, which accounted for 100,000 t of PET recyclate last year. By contrast, rPET usage in the A-PET sheet market dropped by 25,000 t year-on-year. In the latter case, the two groups attribute the decrease “to higher volumes of sheet imports and the price of suitable rPET almost matching that of virgin PET for most of the year.”
Exports of recovered PET to the Far East continued to drop. In 2009, some 16% of recovered PET still made its way east, whereas last year that figure only reached 13%. Imports of baled PET also declined. Both Petcore and EuPR emphasised that of the countries surveyed, all but two have a collection rate that exceeds the 22.5% plastics recovery rate set by the Packaging Waste Directive – an encouraging trend mirrored in the latest figures published by the European Organization for Packaging and the Environment (Europen, Brussels / Belgium; www.europen.be) – see Plasteurope.com of 07.07.2011.
Given all this positive news, it should be borne in mind that peak recovery rates have not yet been met. After all, Europe’s total mechanical reclamation capacity is estimated at 1.7m t. However, “capacity utilisation of our recycle plants is only 79% at present,” says Casper van den Dungen, chairman of the EuPR PET working group.
Source : www.plasteurope.com