Europe triples recycling but still lags target

Mar 19, 2013
Recycling of household waste has tripled in Europe over the past decade but some countries are dragging their feet for meeting a target set for 2020, the European Environment Agency (EAA) says.

Recycling of household waste has tripled in Europe over the past decade but some countries are dragging their feet for meeting a target set for 2020, the European Environment Agency (EAA) said in a report issued on Tuesday.

From 2001 to 2010, recycling of materials and composting of in the 27 nations of the (EU) rose from 13 percent of the total to 39 percent.

The bloc has set a target of 50 percent for 2020.

Leading the pack are Austria (63 percent), Germany (62 percent), Belgium (58 percent) and the Netherlands (51 percent).

In contrast, Romania recycled only 1 percent of its waste in 2010, down from 2 percent in 2001, and the figure for Bulgaria in 2010 was zero, unchanged from 2001.

"In a relatively short time, some countries have successfully encouraged a culture of recycling, with infrastructure, incentives and public awareness campaigns," said EEA Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade.

"But others are still lagging behind, wasting huge volumes of resources. The current intense demand for some materials should alert countries to the clear in recycling."

Explore further: Palm oil sustainability body to expel non-compliant companies

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sweden wants Norway's trash (and lots of it)

Oct 28, 2012

(Phys.org)—Sweden is hungry for trash and has turned to Norway for an offer it would find hard to refuse, no pun intended. Sweden is asking its neighbor for trash. Sweden's success is Sweden's problem. ...

EU carbon emissions 'plummeted in 2009'

May 31, 2011

Greenhouse-gas emissions by the 27 members of the European Union fell by 7.1 percent in 2009 over 2008, driven by economic recession but also a switch to renewable energy, the European Environment Agency (EAA) ...

Europe's beaches clean, but France lagging: study

May 23, 2012

Europe's beaches are generally clean but France is lagging behind other tourist destinations in the south of the continent, a report from European Environment Agency (EEA) showed on Wednesday.

EU on track for Kyoto and 2020 emissions targets

Oct 24, 2012

The European Union (EU) will go beyond its targets to cut greenhouse gases by 2012 under the UN's Kyoto Protocol and is on course for meeting its goal for 2020, it reported on Wednesday.

Climate: EU emissions down 2.5 percent in 2011

Sep 07, 2012

European greenhouse gas emissions fell by 2.5 percent in 2011 over 2010, as a mild winter and increase in renewable energy use offset a rise in coal consumption and economic activity, estimates released on ...

Recommended for you

Global warming cynics unmoved by extreme weather

29 minutes ago

What will it take to convince skeptics of global warming that the phenomenon is real? Surely, many scientists believe, enough droughts, floods and heat waves will begin to change minds.

New tool displays West Coast ocean acidification data

59 minutes ago

Increasing carbon dioxide in the air penetrates into the ocean and makes it more acidic, while robbing seawater of minerals that give shellfish their crunch. The West Coast is one of the first marine ecosystems ...

US northeast braces for flooding after record snow

17 hours ago

Weather forecasters and emergency officials warned Sunday that melting snow would lead to heavy flooding in parts of the US northeast, with hundreds of thousands of people told to brace for fast-rising waters.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

vlaaing peerd
not rated yet Mar 19, 2013
Good to see we're in the top4, but it's not hard to imagine the developing countries in the EU are more keen to focus on economic growth.

Who would care about separating plastics if there's hardly any bread on the table?

I guess this is one of the challenges of the EU, raise the bar but still find consensus with the countries that are lagging behind.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.