By Resource Recycling :
Recently released statistics show European Union countries have continued to increase the amount of PET collected for recycling each year.
Trade association Petcore Europe announced Aug. 9 that EU collection of PET bottles came in at 1.85 million tons in 2012. That amounts to a 5.6 percent increase from 2011.
The rise was due in large part to the fact that more PET containers made it out into the market.
"Despite the poor economic situation in the European region," said Roberto Bertaggia, chairman of Petcore Europe, "the consumption of PET bottles is still showing clear trends of penetration into new market segments through innovative packaging and the recognised capability of PET to be recycled."
The group says that more than 52 percent of all available post-consumer PET bottles in the region were collected for recycling last year. That's a slight uptick from the 51 percent collected in 2011, the first year EU cracked the 50 percent threshold. In 2010, the EU's PET collection rate was just over 48 percent.
According to Petcore, 2012 also saw 25 of the EU's 27 member states achieve PET recycling rates above 22.5 percent, which is the plastics collection target set by the European Commission's Packaging & Packaging Waste Directive. In 2011, 24 nations met that target.
And where is all that recovered plastic heading?
The Petcore announcement states that in 2012 the fibers market was still the single largest end-market for recycled PET, but strong growth in the sheet and bottle markets are putting those three markets at similar levels.