2017 Survey on European PET Recycle Industry - 58.2 % of PET bottles collected

2017 Survey on European PET Recycle Industry - 58.2 % of PET bottles collected

ICIS and Petcore Europe PET Recycling Survey 2017 - Harmonized European-wide collection is the way forward.

Out of 3.308.300 tonnes of PET bottles placed in the European market in 2017, 58.2% - in total 1.923.100 tonnes (+2.9 % compared to 2016) - were collected. This conclusion comes from the Annual Survey on the European PET Recycle Industry, conducted by ICIS and commissioned by Petcore Europe.

"PET collection and recycling rates are exceptional in the plastics packaging industry which shows the important role of the material in the Circular Economy", summarizes Christian Crépet, Executive Director of Petcore Europe.

Collection rates vary significantly across regions

From highs of 90-95 % in countries like Germany and Finland to less than 30-40 % in Mediterranean countries or central eastern European countries the collection rates vary significantly. This is influenced by different methods of waste collection and sorting: Deposit return scheme, kerbside collection and collection points.

Compostition of PET bales, reclamation capacities and end markets for rPET

The survey outlines an increase in PET trays and opaques in clear and transparent PET bales. Even though the products are recyclable they negatively affect the quality of the reprocessed flakes. The share of PET trays in clear bales is different from country to country ranging from 1 % up to 12-18 %. The same goes for trays and opaque bottles in mixed colour bales, where the share ranges from 1 to 25 %. It has to be mentioned that this opaque and difficult to recycle (ODR) PET material should be collected in separate streams.

With an actual processed PET amount of 1.741.700 tonnes and an installed maximum capacity of 2.038.100 tonnes in 2017, there was an unused capacity of 296.400 tonnes which can be caused by numerous reasons, one of them being the quality of the collected PET. Moreover, insufficient quantity of collection can be observed - a lack of 115.000 tonnes in 2017.

In 2017 the major market for r-PET with 40% remained sheet, followed by blow-moulding applications with 29.5% and fibres with 15.5%. The remaining 15% are used for strapping and other applications.

"Today, all PET beverage bottles and most PET trays are designed to be recycled. European PET recyclers currently have an unused capacity of 296.400 tonnes and brand owners commit to use more and more recycled PET. Harmonized European-wide collection is therefore necessary in order to meet the demands", says Christian Crépet.

Report available for Petcore Europe members only

The complete report is exclusively available for Petcore Europe members via the members section on the association website www.petcore-europe.org.

Complete survey results presented at Petcore Europe Conference 2019

Detailed survey results will be presented during the annual Petcore Europe Conference 2019 taking place in Brussels on 6-7 February 2019.


About ICIS

ICIS is the world’s largest petrochemical market information provider, with divisions spanning energy and fertilizers. ICIS' aim is to give companies in global commodities markets a competitive advantage by delivering valuable information and analytics tools which enable their customers to identify and react to opportunities in markets which are constantly evolving. ICIS has more than 30 years’ experience of providing pricing intelligence and news, forecast data, market analytics and independent consulting to buyers, sellers and analysts.

ICIS' new analytics solutions for the global petrochemicals markets offer a whole-market perspective as well as robust analytics tools to examine below the surface and see the true impact of change as it happens. As market intelligence needs are becoming more complex, ICIS is responding with significant investment in its existing analytics, adding diagnostic and predictive capabilities to help decision-makers respond more effectively to market changes.

ICIS is a division of Reed Business Information, part of RELX Group.


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Sebastian Lemp Communications Executive, Petcore Europe
Sebastian Lemp Communications Executive, Petcore Europe
About Petcore Europe

Petcore Europe is the association representing the complete PET value chain in Europe since 1993.

Its mission is to ensure that the entire PET industry is well aligned to enhance its value and sustainable growth, to represent the PET industry before the European institutions and other stakeholders, to ensure that PET is positioned as an outstanding packaging material and recognised as environmentally sound, to support and validate innovative packaging solutions from a recycling perspective, and to work with all interested parties to ensure a continuous increase of PET post-consumer collection and recycling.

PET (PolyEthylene Terephthalate) is a strong but lightweight form of polyester. It is used to make containers for soft drinks, juices, drinks, water, edible oil, fresh food and dairy as well as household cleaners and other non-food applications. PET bottles and food containers, such as sheets and trays are perfectly recyclable while they help to reduce CO2 emissions and food waste.

Petcore Europe
Avenue de Broqueville 12
1150 Brussels, Belgium