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Data indicates that while reuse and recycling of the collected waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) seems to be on track in the majority of the EU and EFTA member countries, the collection of the WEEE has shown varying but generally improving results. It appears that the amounts of WEEE that are collected, are largely reused (either as a whole appliance or components) or recycled although there is still room for improvement in some countries. However, more attention should be given to the improvement of collection systems. The level of collection is still very low in many countries, especially when compared to the amount put on the market (Figure 1).
One of the most
important objectives of the EU policy is to decouple waste generation from
economic growth. Data shows that Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generation in the
EU-27 has been stabilising after around 520 kg/capita since 2000, despite the
continuous economic growth until 2008. The effect of the recent economic crisis
can be a reason of the further reductions in 2008-2009.
The generation of packaging waste per capita in EU is growing, although there are signs of slowing down or stabilizing in the trend. In 2008 generation of packaging waste was reduced, albeit a high level of 163,5 kg/capita in the EU-27. However, it is difficult to attribute this change either to effective waste prevention (decoupling of waste from GDP) or to the reduction of GDP due to economic downturn (no decoupling). This slowing down rate could also be attributed to the change of packaging materials, as the largest increase occurs for paper and plastics.
The recycling schemes and economic instruments appear to be quite effective for this waste stream. In 2008, recycling covered 61% of the packaging waste, exceeding the 55% target for 2008 defined in the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. However, in many countries there is still room for improvement.
This indicator is no longer being regularly updated
The European Environment Agency (EEA) is an agency of the European Union.