A new report shows that many EU members will miss their 2020 recycling targets. Fourteen member states are at serious risk of missing their mandatory 50% recycling rate target.

Malta is the worst recycler of all the member nations. Its recycling rate is stuck at only 7%, while 83% of its waste is sent to landfill. Malta boasts the lowest recycling rate as well as the highest land filling rate.  A close second is Romania (recycling 13% of its waste while land filling 69%), followed by Greece (recycling 17% and land filling over 80%) and Cyprus (recycling 17%, with 75% going to landfills). A remarkable case is Estonia. It manages to landfill only 10% of its material, with 28% of its overall waste being recycled. The EU points out that Estonia still incinerates far more than it recycles. Spain and Portugal recycled around 31% of their material while land filling 57% and 45% respectively. Hungary recycled 35% and land filled 51% of its post-consumer materials.

Two countries improve their recycling rates

Two countries who have improved their recycling targets and rates are Poland and Finland.  The former is now recycling 45% of its waste while 35% goes to landfill.  Poland has the lowest land filling rate of the 14 low performing countries in the EU. Finland is improving its position and is recycling 42% of its post-consumer materials.

Major economic pressure on EU members

The report shows the action that needs to be taken. Sadly the actions need to take into account the economic pressures on members as well as the current levels of government debt.  According to Adrian Gibbs, principal consultant at Eunomia, the consultancy firm involved in preparing the figures, the EU has prepared advice and strategies for each country to assist them boost their recycling rates.

Recycal and sister-company CMA ecocycle continue to study global trends to improve their understanding of how they can assist their customers’ boost recycling rates. Reducing landfill is a key objective for any serious business in today’s market.

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