EU Recycling Statistics 2021

EU Recycling Statistics 2021

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EU Recycling Statistics For 2021

The European Union (EU) is a leader in sustainability and green initiatives, and this is especially true when it comes to recycling. EU recycling statistics for 2021 show that the region is making great strides in terms of reducing waste and increasing recycling. 

Here are some of the key recycling statistics for the EU in 2021

Plastic Recycling

The European Union generated approximately 53 million metric tons of plastic waste in 2019. Plastic waste generation in the EU is projected to have surpassed 60 million metric tons by 2030, and more than 100 million metric tons by 2060. In Europe, 32.5% of plastic waste is recycled, and nearly 25% goes to landfill. 

Glass Recycling

Glass recycling has always been a strong point for the EU, and the region recycled 76.5% of all glass waste in 2021. This was an increase from 2019, when the recycling rate was 73.2%. The EU is also aiming for a 90% glass recycling rate by 2030. 

Paper Recycling

The EU recycled 71.4% of all paper waste generated in 2021. This was a slight increase from 2019, when the recycling rate was 70.2%. The EU has set a goal to reach a 75% paper recycling rate by 2030. 

Metal Recycling

The Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging (APEAL) reports that the recycling rate for steel packaging in Europe reached 85.5% in 2020, marking an increase for the 10th consecutive year. In fact, 56% of EU steel is made from scrap, with around 100 million tonnes of scrap steel recycled every year.

Overall Recycling Rate

The recycling rates of municipal waste vary greatly throughout the EU, with just 8 countries having a recycling rate higher than 50%, while countries such as Cyprus, Romania, and Malta have recycling rates lower than 20 percent.

European Countries With The Highest Recycling Rates In Household Waste

EU Countries recycling rate


Comparing the EU to the Rest of the World

The EU is a leader in recycling when compared to the rest of the world. According to the European Commission, the EU’s recycling rate is more than double the global average. The global average recycling rate is only 30%. 

The EU’s success in recycling can be attributed to its strong commitment to sustainability initiatives and green policies. The EU’s recycling statistics for 2021 show that the region is making great strides in reducing waste and increasing recycling. 

As they are on track to reach its ambitious recycling goals by 2030, this is a testament to the region’s commitment to sustainability. The EU’s success in recycling also shows that with the right policies and initiatives, it is possible to make a significant impact on the environment.

Find Similar Blogs

If you are interested in more statistics, you can also find the UK’s statistics from 2021 and 2022. We also explored a range of facts about recycling from around the world.

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