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Rapid Rise in Recycling Reported

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 10:02:30

The recycling of packaging across the EU has increased significantly in the past decade, according to reassuring statistics published this month by Eurostat.

Energy Live News reports that 2016 saw 42 per cent of all plastic packaging processed in a sustainable way rather than sent to landfill. This means that rates have effectively doubled since 2005, with other materials also being recycled more widely and in greater volumes.

55 per cent of all waste which was collected across the continent in 2016 was recycled, while the proportion of packaging that received the same treatment was much higher at 67 per cent.

Those interested in the recycling of old mobile phones and other electronics will be interested to see that e-waste recycling rates were at 41 per cent, suggesting that while improvements have been made, there is still a long way to go to make this part of the industry more widely used.

While it may seem like the UK and the EU are moving in the right direction when it comes to recycling, it is not all good news. Analysts found that as little as 12 per cent of the materials used to make new products in 2016 were sourced from recycling solutions.

The upshot is that the vast majority of the products purchased today are still made using materials that have never been deployed in any capacity in the past.

In order to move towards a truly circular economy, it will be necessary for continued efforts to improve recycling rates to persist while also encouraging manufacturers to buy and use more recycled materials to make their new products.

Some smartphone producers are taking steps to ensure this, but it is far from an industry-wide movement, which means there is still a long way to go.




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