Plastic Recycling Industry in Europe
The plastic industry is an important sector of the European economy. Plastic products are omni-present in our everyday life. They are an extensively used material in number of industries e.g.: automotive, electrical & electronic, building & construction, and food & beverage sector. Due to the distinctive properties of plastic as well as its growing innovation applications, the trend in production for this material will continue to grow.
The plastic application sectors are relatively stable with the packaging sector remaining the largest, followed by building & construction, automotive, electrical & electronic equipment. The biggest source of plastic waste remains packaging and consequently the most plastics waste that is currently recycled comes from this stream. There is a positive trend observed in Europe in the recovery of plastics that less plastic waste is ending in landfills. In 2012, out of the 25, 2 Mt of plastics collected for recycling 6.6 Mt were recycled and 8.9 Mt were incinerated. The challenge to recycle more and to fully implement the waste hierarchy model, with prevention, reuse, recycling, recovery and disposal as the least preferable option, remains.
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