The European Union could achieve a plastics recycling target of 62% by 2020 if it implements a number of resource efficient changes.
A new report commissioned by Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) claims only 24% of plastics in Europe last year were collected for recycling, a figure the industry group said is “no longer acceptable”.
PRE set out to find the “best pathway” to increase recycling and introduces what it calls the ‘Vision for Resource Efficiency’ (VRE). It claims implementing the VRE would help divert more than 24 million tonnes of plastic waste from landfill, recover energy from 7.5 million tonnes of residual waste and avoid more than 26 metric tonnes of carbon emissions. It could also save more than €4.5 billion (£3.8bn) and create around 360,000 jobs across the EU.
The group is calling for EU governments to ban plastic waste going to landfill, for them to be collected separately and for all recyclable plastics to be made available to recyclers.
Ton Emans, PRE President said: “In the long run, economic growth, demographic changes and growing scarcity of raw materials will not allow Europe the luxury of wasting 76% of all plastic materials used. Urgent measures are needed in order to increase recycling rates for plastics.”
Shops in England will soon be forced to charge 5p for all plastic bags they sell.