EU members recycled 46% of waste in 2015

According to the latest European Union (EU) statistics, member states recycled or composted 46 per cent of household waste on average in 2015.
Figures released on Monday by the EU Eurostat show that the amount of municipal waste generated per person in the EU in 2015 decreased from 527 kilograms per person in 2002 to 477 kilograms in 2015, a 9 per cent reduction.
However, the 2015 figure is slightly up from the record low 474 kilograms of waste generated in 2014, the first time since 2007.
Municipal waste consists of waste produced by households as well as similar material from small businesses and public institutions that are collected by local councils.
Overall, 29 per cent of the municipal waste was recycled and a further 17 per cent was composted – the remaining waste was either sent to landfill (28 per cent) or incinerated (26 per cent).
There has been significant improvement in the amount of waste that is recycled or composted in the EU, increasing steadily from 17 per cent in 1995 to the newly documented 46 per cent figure in 2015.
In Germany, 68 per cent of waste was either recycled or composted and in Austria and Slovenia 58 per cent of waste avoided landfill or incineration.
These statistics follow a vote last week by members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee backing the inclusion of higher recycling targets in the EU’s proposed Circular Economy Package.
EU municipal waste recycling targets were raised from 65 per cent to 70 per cent by 2030, as well as capping the amount of waste sent to landfill at five per cent over the same period, rather than the previous 10 per cent target.
Environment MEPs also voted in favour of new regulations urging EU nations to reduce per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level by 30 per cent by 2025 and 50 per cent by 2030 – up from the original 30 per cent cut.

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