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06-16-2015

New Guide to Plastics Recyclers in Europe

Plastics industry consultants, Applied Market Information Ltd. (AMI), has recently published a new edition of its directory of Plastics Recyclers in Europe listing 993 plastics recycling sites, giving a clear picture of Europe’s recycling capabilities.

Distribution of recyclers in Europe 2015 (figure: AMI)

The plastics recycling industry is an extremely diverse sector covering most plastic materials and numerous applications from the various processing industries. Those covered in AMI’s Directory, Plastics Recyclers in Europe, include recyclers of packaging, building, agricultural, automotive, textiles, electrical WEEE and non-WEEE, along with a variety of other products. As recycling technologies develop, so too has the ability to recover more plastics, with closed loop recycling of post-consumer waste becoming ever more evident. However, the majority of waste recycled is still post-industrial production scrap due to its ready availability and the minimal amount of processing required to turn it back into reusable material.

The most commonly recycled polymer in Europe according to AMI’s directory is currently HDPE with 64% of the sites listed recycling it. This is closely followed by LDPE and PP.

The distribution of the 993 mechanical recycling sites listed in AMI’s directory is spread across Western and Central Europe. Germany is leading the way, housing over 20% of the sites listed due to their strict policies and targets for recycling which over recent years has seen it maintain its steady lead in Europe. The scale and size of Germany’s recycling industry is also reflected in it being home to more of the larger processors, with over 40% of Germany’s recycling sites producing more than 5,000 tonnes of recyclate per annum. Italy and the United Kingdom come joint second to Germany each with 13% of sites listed however there is still a large gap to bridge before they can compete with the plastics recycling capacity offered by Germany.

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