Are we preventing the generation of packaging waste?
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.