All rigid polyolefins could be recyled or burned - Plastics Europe

29 September 2011 13:03  [Source: ICIS news]

All rigid polyolefins could be recycled or burned - Plastics EuropeLONDON (ICIS)--All the polyolefins used in rigid applications in Europe could be diverted away from landfill and either recycled or burned to produce energy, trade group Plastics Europe said on Thursday.

The results of the first study into recycling and recovery rates across Europe for polyolefins used in bottles, other rigid packaging, and in the automotive, appliance and electronics sectors, shows that the recovery rate was 57% in 2009, it said.

The polyolefins studied were high, low and linear low density polyethylene (HDPE, LDPE and LLDPE) and polypropylene (PP).

One million tonnes of these products sold into rigid application in Europe were recycled, Plastics Europe said, adding that “this is only a glimpse of what can be achieved”.

“With an appropriate combination of recycling and energy recovery, 100% diversion of polyolefins from landfill is possible,” Plastics Europe’s programme director for resource efficiency Jan-Erik Johansson said.

“Equally, I believe that supportive regulatory frameworks and improvements in identification and sorting techniques can certainly help the value chain to achieve this important objective.”

Recovery rates do vary widely across Europe, reaching 32% in Germany and less than 10% in Poland.

Plastics Europe believes that restrictions on landfilling and the development of broader collections schemes for non-bottle rigid packaging, as well as better sorting systems coupled with efficient energy recovery, would help lift recycling and energy recovery rates.

The study was carried out by the market research consultants Consultic.

By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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