Recycling of PET plastics have stagnated at 50 per cent of capacity, reports.

Industry body Plastics Recyclers Europe (EuPR) has claimed that recycling levels of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has changed very little in recent times, with volumes stagnating at around 50 per cent of total capacity levels.

This trend, EuPR has claimed, is largely down to collection infrastructure reaching its limit, meaning otherwise good PET plastics which would alternatively make their way into recycling bins are instead heading to landfill.

Recycling PET plastics has become much more difficult in recent years, however, as manufacturers develop more complicated and lightweight designs which adds more cost to the process. One suggestion EuPR has offered is that of extension to current duties for the import of virgin PET in order to prevent a market imbalance.

Speaking to of the results, chairman of the PET Working Group at EuPR, Casper van den Dungen, explained how he believed Europe wasn’t “maximising the sustainable use of a valuable resource such as post-consumer PET.

“The combined effect of these market failures are causing recycling plants to operate at well below 75 per cent of their capacity. Until today, PET has been an undisputed success and example for sustainable development. It can remain so in the future if the collection moves upwards to another level and the virgin PET is fairly marketed.”

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