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Plastics recovery grows in Europe

The recovery of plastics waste was said to grow 8% in 2000, to 36% of all plastics, according to the Assn. of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe (Brussels, Belgium).

In terms of tonnage, the increase was 11% over the ‘99 figures. Plus, says APME, for the first time, recovery grew faster than consumption.

Eight countries were credited with recovering more than half of all waste plastics (the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Sweden, Austria and Belgium). APME also reports “significant expansion” of plastic waste collection systems in southern Europe, contributing in large part to a 17% increase in mechanical recycling.

Energy recovery through incineration accounted for 23% of the diversion. This option is especially popular in Denmark and in Switzerland, where 75% and 73%, respectively, of all plastic waste was used as fuel. —AO

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