How EU Aims to Strengthen Recycling Efforts


Published Date : Dec 15, 2015

Over the past two decades, there has been an upward trend in recycling performance in the EU, according to the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE). The group has found that carton recycling has been witnessing a steady rise in the United Kingdom as well as in the new EU member states. However, further steps still need to be taken so as to ban packaging from landfills. 

The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment has been contributing to EU legislation, policy, and standard setting by promoting renewable packaging solutions. Some of the key members of the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment include carton producers such as SIG Combibloc, Tetra Pak, and Elopak. 

Here are the key takeaways from the ACE findings:

  • In 2014, an estimated 420,000 tons of beverage cartons were recycled in paper mills
  • The recycling rate in Europe, also comprising EU member states Switzerland and Norway, last year was 43 per cent
  • In 2014, the total recovery rate of recycling and energy touched 76 per cent
  • Germany, Spain, Belgium, and Luxembourg are some of the countries where the recycling rate of beverage cartons was 70 per cent or more 
  • Legal proposals in the EU need to focus on innovation in packaging recycling techniques, materials, and solutions
  • Ensuring effective collection and recycling of various recyclable packaging and end of life products is absolutely necessary to increase recycling 
  • The EU waste legislations need to emphasize on extended producer responsibility 
  • Banning packaging waste from landfills will ensure valuable raw materials are not unnecessarily incinerated or end up in landfills 

The director general of Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment Bertil Heerink said that the ACE is absolutely determined and dedicated towards fulfilling the objectives of the Circular Economy Package of the European Commission. ACE has been working in alliance with RECycling of Used Plastics (RECOUP) and On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) to support recycling in EU.