Europe has beaten its plastic recycling goals, according to reports.

The EU set a minimum requirement for 22.5 per cent of all plastic to be recycled in 2011, however a new report states that the EU beat this by recycling 33.6 per cent of these materials.

All countries in the EU exceeded the minimum requirements for placing plastics in recycling bins, apart from Malta and Cyprus. Eighteen EU countries also achieved rates of over 30 per cent – with the Netherlands coming top with a rate of 48.4 per cent. They were followed by the Czech Republic, Sweden, Estonia and Germany.

The figure shows an increase from last year, with Europe reaching a recycling rate of 32.6 per cent in 2010. The European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery, which was one of the partners in the report, told that this shows national recycling scheme in the EU are managing well, due to “extended producer responsibility”.

The facility also said that the problem of agricultural waste needs to be tackled – it was reported that the sector generated 1.315 million tonnes of post-consumer plastic waste last year. Only 23 per cent of this was said to be recycled.

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