Despite the economic crisis, UK recycling of plastics packaging rose 2% from 24 to 26% in 2008, according to a report in plasticseurope.org. This group represents European plastics industry and plastics recyclers. UK performance is cited as compatible with meeting the recycling target of the Plastics 2020 Challenge.
The report describes a drop in European converters' demand for the first time in 34 years. Even so, recycling across Europe still increased (from 20.4% in 2007 to 21.3% in 2008) and energy recovery increased from 29.2% in 2007 to 30% in 2008). However, both figures represent a slowdown compared with the considerable increases recorded in recent years. The equivalent statistics for the UK are an increase in recycling from l7 to 18% in 2008, with energy recovery remaining stable at 7%. In the UK, according to the report, 75% of plastics waste (2.6 million tones) still ends up as landfill.