The UK is in the top tier of Europe's plastics recyclers, according to a European Commission report ‘Screening of waste management performance of EU member states'.
PlasticsEurope welcomed the document saying that its findings prove that it is possible to achieve the target of zero plastics to landfill by 2020 if the right policies are put in place.
The report, however, does highlight some major discrepancies in the performance of member states, especially with regard to municipal waste management, particularly in the implementation of the Waste Framework Directive (WFD) and the translation of EU requirements into national legislation.
The countries performing above average are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. Spain, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal and Slovenia are average performers while Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovakia all have ground to make up.
“It is not simply a question of pointing the finger at the poor performers,” said Wilfried Haensel, executive director, PlasticsEurope. “What is more important is to learn from those countries that are leading by example.
“With the challenges we are facing today in Europe, it makes no environmental or economic sense that seven EU member states are diverting over 90% of plastics waste from landfill, while 15 others still bury over 60%.”
According to the organisation the value of plastic lost to landfill across Europe each year stands at around €8bn.