Petcore and EuPR have said that European post-sorting polyethylene terephthalate (PET) collection reached 1.59 million tonnes last year, an increase of 9.4% on 2010.
Growth in collection remained stable at 2% for the 27 EU countries and net exports of PET bales to the Far East fell for the third year running.
All but three of the surveyed countries have a collection rate above the 22.5% target rate for plastic recovery set by the Packaging Waste Directive and overall collection rate in 2011 was 51% of all PET bottles in the market.
Roberto Bertaggia, chairman of the Petcore board, said: “The PET industry chain has worked with compliance agencies, national bodies and European recyclers to achieve the record collection of nearly 1.6 million tonnes of PET bottles.”
The chairman of the EuPR PET Working Group, Casper van den Dungen, said: “Capacity utilisation of our recycle plants is only 77% at present.
“This provides the challenge for municipalities, other collectors and industry to increase the current collection rate even further to load the recycling facilities already in place.”