Do we manage the generated waste (packaging) in a sustainable way?

Policy Question
Indicator codes: CSI 017 , WST 002

Key messages

(30 Aug 2011)

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.

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