This information comes from data on packaging waste published by Eurostat.
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.
Less plastic recycling due to change in method
In 2020, stricter rules for reporting recycling entered into force. These include a harmonised 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).
The Netherlands, Lithuania, Slovakia, Spain, Bulgaria and Cyprus recycled more than half of their plastic packaging waste generated. In contrast, less than one-third of plastic packaging waste was recycled in Malta, France, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Romania, Poland and Austria.