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The generation of packaging waste per capita in the EU has followed a growing trend until 2006. Between 2006 and 2009, a stabilisation was observed, while in 2009 effects of the economic downturn were reflected by a decreased level of packaging waste. In 2010, amount of packaging waste generated became 157 kg/capita following a slight increase in the trend after the economic downturn. This is a clear indication that, neither decoupling waste generation from economic growth nor the EU policy objective of waste prevention has as yet been accomplished for this waste stream.
However, the recycling schemes appear to be quite effective for packaging waste. After 2000, recycling covered more than 50% of the generated packaging waste, a lot higher than the 25% target of the Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste for the year 2001. In 2008, recycling covered 61% of the generated waste, already exceeding the 2008 target of the Directive, which is 55%. The situation improved slightly in 2010 as the recycling rate of 63,2% was achieved at the EU-27 level.
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.
Municipal waste generation is still increasing in OECD countries, but at a slower pace since 2000. There has been a relative decoupling of municipal waste generation in OECD countries from economic growth, but waste generation is continuing to increase.
In the EU-15, most municipal waste streams are not expected to decouple significantly from GDP and none are expected to decouple absolutely. In the New-10, relative decoupling of waste from GDP is expected for municipal wastes. AS municipal waste generation is expected to continue to grow across Europe, the policy target of absolute decoupling is not met. This might lead to an increase in environmental pressures and stretch the waste management capabilities of countries with less developed infrastructure. The economic situation in Europe has a significant impact on municipal waste streams.
In the EU-15, most packaging waste streams are not expected to decouple significantly from GDP. The packaging waste generation is expected to continue to grow across Europe (50% by 2020 as compare to the year 2000). The policy target of absolute decoupling is unlikely to be met. This might lead to an increase in environmental pressures and stretch the waste management capabilities of countries with less developed infrastructure. The economic situation in Europe has a significant impact on packaging waste streams.
Waste and material resources
Mission GREENland - For a cleaner future
Waste and material resources
The European Environment Agency (EEA) is an agency of the European Union.