Market failures threaten PET recycling

06 February 2013

The PET recycling industry is threatened by persistent structural market failures across Europe. On the one hand, the current collection infrastructures have reached their limit and the collection of PET bottles is stagnating around 50% whereas the balance of the uncollected PET is still landfilled or incinerated. Furthermore, due to intensive light weighting and complex bottle design the average costs of recycling have increased substantially in recent years. Such increased costs cannot currently be corrected by further economies of scale. On the other hand, recent years have seen an increase in demand for recycled PET and this has led to a significant increase in investments in many new recycling lines (Press Release Plastic Recyclers Europe, 4 February 2013).