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Eurostat: 34 kg of plastic packaging waste per capita per year. Less than half is recycled

We throw away 34.4 kg of plastic packaging per capita per year, of which less than half (14.1 kg, or 41% of the total packaging waste) is recycled. These are the EU data for 2019, published by Eurostat. In ten years, the volume of this type of waste has grown by 24% per inhabitant (that is, a 6.7 kg increase per year). Fortunately, the recycling volume of this particular waste increased by 50% (+4.7 kg). Sadly, however, the amount of non-recycled plastic has increased by 2.0 kg per inhabitant since 2009. This is because, according to Eurostat, the amount of plastic packaging waste generated has also increased over the decade. The most virtuous country in terms of plastic packaging recycling is Lithuania (70%). Other countries that recycle more than half of the waste they generate include the Czech Republic (61%), Bulgaria (59%), the Netherlands (57%), Sweden and Slovakia (both 53%), Spain (52%), Cyprus (51%), and Slovenia (50%). By contrast, the countries with the lowest plastic packaging recycling rates are Malta (11%), France (27%), Ireland (28%), Austria (31%), Poland (32%), and Hungary (33%). Italy ranks just above the European average, managing to recycle 43% of packaging waste.

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