Romanians recycle more plastic than the French (but far less than the Dutch)

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Photo: maria mendiola/Unsplash

Romanians are not Europe’s most efficient recyclers, but they did manage to outperform the French, Eurostat figures released Thursday show.

According to 2019 Eurostat data, Romanian recycled some 31.1% of plastic packaging waste in 2019, compared to 26.9% in France.

The Netherlands, Lithuania, Slovakia, Spain, Bulgaria and Cyprus recycled more than half of their plastic packaging waste generated that year. In contrast, less than one-third of plastic packaging waste was recycled in Malta, France, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Romania, Poland and Austria.

At the other end, less than a third of plastic packaging waste is recycled in Malta, France, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Romania, Poland and Austria.

Eurostat says there was no data available for Romania and Poland in 2020.

In 2020, each person living in the EU generated 34.6 kg of plastic packaging waste on average. Out of these, 13 kg were recycled.

Between 2010 and 2020, the volume of plastic packaging waste generated per inhabitant increased by 23% (+6.5 kg). The recycled volume of plastic packaging waste increased over the same period, by 32% (+3.2 kg).

Despite this improvement, the amount of plastic packaging that wasn’t recycled increased by 3.4 kg per inhabitant since 2010 due to the greater increase in the absolute amount of plastic packaging waste generated.

In 2020, stricter rules for reporting recycling entered into force. These include a harmonized calculation point for recycling and stricter accounting of composite packaging material fractions. Due to that, a provisional decrease of 3 percentage points was observed (from 41% in 2019 to an estimated 38% in 2020)

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