Every year, EU citizens generate 26 million tonnes of plastic waste: 39% ends up in the incinerator, 31% in landfills and only 30% is collected for recycling. A still very low percentage which, moreover, varies considerably from country to country: if Latvia is able to recycle more than 80% of packaging, the neighbouring Estonia does not even reach 30%, like France and Finland. When there is no recycling infrastructure, the only solution is to send waste abroad: in Europe, it happens in 50% of cases. It is unlikely that the EU will be able to recycle 50% of plastic packaging by 2025 and 55% by 2030, as envisaged in the Commission’s 2018 strategy.
Among the various types of packaging, paradoxically, plastic packaging - such as water bottles or yoghurt jars - has the lowest recycling rate, barely more than 40 percent. Such a low recycling rate is an economic failure, because 95 percent of the value of packaging materials evaporates after the first cycle of use, and environmental failure, because producing and incinerating plastic emits huge amounts of CO2 (we’re talking about about 400 million tons a year, globally). In short, recycling is the ideal closure of the circle, but it cannot and must not be the pretext for shirking our responsibility to drastically reduce the amount of waste we generate. (source: lifegate.it)
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