European PET Collection report 2011

Petcore and EuPR publish PET collection figures for 2012.

European collection rate increases to 51% of all PET bottles Petcore and EuPR announced today that European post - sorting PET collection reached 1.59 Million tonnes in 2011, an increase of 140 Ktes (9.4%) on 2010. For the EU 27 countries growth in collection is stable at 2%. The overall collection rate in 2011 was a record 51% of all PET bottles in the market. Net exports of PET bales to the Far East Fell for the third year running. All but 3 of the surveyed countries have a collection rate above the 22.5% target rate for plastic recovery set by the Packaging Waste Directive. The collection rate by country depends on the maturity and extent of their collection systems as well as economic instruments in place. Collection rates of over 70% are being recorded by about a third of the countries surveyed. It was estimated that there is a total mechanical reclamation capacity in the EU27+4 of around 1.9 Million tonnes, so PET recyclers have capacity available to absorb a large increase in PET collection.

More than 50% of the resulting rPET was used to produce containers or sheet for new packaging applications in 2011. The 2011 share of fibres as an end use for recycled PET flake remained at 39%. The strapping market for rPET increased slightly to just over 100 Ktes. “I am delighted that the PET collection rate has broken the 50% barrier in Europe” said Roberto Bertaggia, Chairman of the Petcore Board. He further commented that “ The extra 140 Ktes collected in 2011 represents a further 5.6 Billion bottles to be recycled. The PET industry chain has worked with Compliance Agencies, National Bodies and European Recyclers to achieve the record collection of nearly 1.6 Million tonnes of PET bottles. We pledge to continue to develop and promote PET’s recyclability”. The Chairman of the EuPR PET Working Group, Casper van den Dungen, agreed. “Capacity utilisation of our recycle plants is only 77% at present. This provides the challenge for municipalities, other collectors and industry to increase the current collection rate even further to load the recycling facilities already in place. Nevertheless, the new developments in PET collection must not jeopardise the sound, well - established and most recycled plastic: The PET Bottle”. He continued, “Recycled PET is a reliable and sought - after feedstock in the PET value chain and sustainable, long life uses are being developed to utilise the growing supply of recycled PET.
PET = Polyethylene terephthalate (Plastic Code No 1).

This report “Post Consumer PET recycling in Europe 2011 and Prospects to 2016 ” was prepared for Petcore and EuPR by PCI PET Packaging, Resin & Recycling Ltd. To purchase a copy of this report please contact PCI directly at
In this report “Europe” refers to the EU27 countries plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. Whether PET bottles are recycled into another bottle, fibre, sheet, strapping tape or one of the new applications the energy saving will be significant“. Both Chairmen emphasised that Petcore and EuPR will endeavour to ensure that the growth in PET recycling continues. “This sustainable growth reflects the expectations of consumers who themselves are an important part of the recycle chain. They show they understand that every PET bottle is a valuable resource by disposing of them responsibly”. Petcore’s publication, PET Profile, has been updated to include the 2011 collection figures.

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