Figures show Europe is recycling more of its waste
The European Environment Agency (EEA) has recently published data which suggest that member nations are recycling more and consequently diverting more waste away from landfill sites.
The figures collated in the EEA’s latest report, ‘Municipal waste management across European countries’, show that recycling efforts have significantly improved throughout many European nations within the past decade, but that some countries need to “step up” their game if they expect to meet the EU’s recycling target of 50% by 2020.
The report includes data from the 28 EU member nations and Turkey, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland.
In 2014, EEA member nations sent 34% of their municipal waste to landfill. This is compared to 49% in 2014; an important drop of 15% within a decade.
Across all 32 EEA member nations, waste production decreased by 3% over the same time period, while waste generation per person fell by 7%.
According to the report, a total of 8 countries, including Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden, have very nearly achieved zero municipal waste to landfill; an impressive achievement considering the increasing population in Europe.
The report states: “Although municipal waste represents only around 10% of total waste generated in the EU, it is very visible, and prevention of this waste has the potential to reduce its environmental impact…”
The average recycling rate for municipal waste in the 32 countries reached 33% in 2014; an increase of 10% compared to the 23% recycling rate recorded in 2004. However, the figures improve when only EU member nations are taken into consideration; then the average recycling rate for 2014 was 44%, compared to 37% in 2004.
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