Growth of PET collection and recycling in Europe continues: ​ over 1.8 million tonnes of PET bottles collected and recycled in 2015




With over 1.8 million tonnes of collected and recycled PET bottles, the 2015 European PET collection and recycling volumes have increased by 5% compared to 2014. This means that nearly 59% of all bottles placed in the European market have been collected for recycling in 2015, outlining an increase of 2% points compared to the 2014 collection rate.

These conclusions come from the annual PCI Wood Mackenzie report on post-consumer PET collection and recycling in Europe, which has been recently published.


“Petcore Europe is pleased to see this continuous growth in the European PET collection and recycling figures,” outlines Roberto Bertaggia, Petcore Europe President. “In the context of the Circular Economy, it becomes more and more clear that PET recycling takes a crucial role and significantly contributes to achieving the set plastics recycling targets.“

The survey results not only reveal the success of PET collection and recycling in Europe, but also the challenges and future work the PET industry is facing.

“Continuously trying to improve the growth rates in collection demonstrates the need to increase consumer awareness of and involvement in recycling, as well as improvement in collection systems and action by many Member States,” states Helen McGeough, Senior Consultant responsible for the area of recycling and sustainability in PCI Wood Mackenzie.  “The value of these resources needs promoting across society, from consumer to government, to ensure it is treated in the right way throughout its life and beyond.”

The report further clearly outlines the need for an improved collection and sorting system throughout Europe.

“Clear bottles accounted for less than 15% of the stream, continuing the downward trend for clear bales in the total share of the available stream and highlighting the need for greater expenditure in sorting activities. The process loss rate is on an upward trend, this rising rate equates to a mounting cost to the industry and backs the calls by the industry for improved collection within the Circular Economy proposals,” explains Helen, as reported in the study.

Referring to the recycling in- and output, the report reveals a strong growth in 2015, with the average operating rate improving over 2014. The trend in the trade of bales also went in favour of the domestic reclamation industry in 2015.

As an outlook, the report concludes that the volume collected by 2020 will reach over 2 million metric tonnes, with an expected average collection rate of over 60%.


The complete report is available through PCI Wood Mackenzie. If you are interested or need any further information, please contact Helen McGeough via [email protected]. The results will be also discussed during the Petcore Europe Conference 2017 “PET 2020” taking place in Brussels on 01 February 2017.



About PET

PET (PolyEthylene Terephthalate) is a strong but lightweight form of clear polyester. It is used to make containers for soft drinks, juices, alcoholic drinks, water, edible oils, household cleaners and other food and non-food applications. Being a polymer, polyethylene terephthalate's molecules consist of long chains of repeating units only containing the carbon (C), oxygen (O) and hydrogen (H) organic elements.


About the report

The report “PET Recycling in Europe 2015” is a comprehensive account of the collection volumes in 2015 and projections to 2020, by country. This 25-page report provides full analysis of the reclamation capacity in the region, the supply demand balance for bottles and the end uses for processed flake. New to the report is a market overview for the region plus analysis of the pricing trends throughout the year.

Eva Schneider

Petcore Europe Communications Officer,

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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.


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