Ask the Analyst: Europe’s Plastic Bottle Recycling Goals

  • Europe hopes to have a plastic bottle collection rate of 77% by 2025.
  • In this week’s Ask the Analyst, we discuss the feasibility of this target.
  • If you’d like us to answer one of your questions in an upcoming edition, please email

Is Europe on Track to Meet its Plastic Bottle Collection Targets by 2025?

There are plenty of positives coming from the recycling sector at the moment, in particular the acceleration of new investment in both recycling and collection systems across Europe.

However, the window to hit the EU Single-Use Plastic directive’s target of a 77% collection rate for plastic bottles by 2025 is certainly narrowing.

Europe has an average PET bottle collection rate of 64% at present. To achieve a 77% collection rate for PET beverage bottles by 2025, around 60% more material would need to be collected compared to volumes in 2019.

Deposit return schemes (DRSs) are a proven way to significantly boost collection rates within relatively short time periods but often face difficulties in getting started. DRS in Scotland and Turkey, both originally planned for 2022, have now been pushed back to 2023 in recent weeks.

Progress is being made, though. This month, Slovakia became the first country in Central Europe and only the eighth in the EU to introduce a bottle deposit system. More DRSs are planned for 2022 too, in Malta, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Latvia, Romania. Others in Greece and the UK should be rolled out in 2023.

However, time is looking increasingly short…

You can hear me talk more about the recycling sector in the latest episode of the Czapp Podcast.

Other Insights That May Be of Interest…

Plastics and Sustainability Trends in January 2022

Czapp Podcasts That May Be of Interest…

The Switch Towards RPET

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Gareth Lamb

Gareth joined Czarnikow in 2021 and is Czarnikow’s PET analyst and recycling specialist. As well as regularly reporting on key market trends and dynamics, Gareth is also developing new research products and analytics within the PET and rPET space. Prior to joining Czarnikow, Gareth led Wood Mackenzie’s PET research service and was Senior Consultant at IHS Markit, working within the petrochemical consulting team. Dr. Lamb graduated from the University of St Andrews with a PhD in organometallic chemistry; and has a masters of Chemistry degree from the University of Liverpool.

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