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According to Ecoprog estimates, new structures to achieve community aims are needed. Italy, the biggest market potential.
The demand for plants for plastic recovery in Europe will increase significantly: by 2025, new structures able to work 5.2 million tons of material will be needed. This is an increase of 25 percent, with 300 plants to be built in the next 10 years. Estimates come from Ecoprog, a German environmental consulting company.
To date, the Old Continent counts 1,200 plants for plastic sorting and recycling. An amount that won’t be enough to sustain the pace of future growth. According to the European legislation, by 2020 half of the plastic resulting from urban collection must be recovered. A goal that almost none of the members was able to reach. Southern Europe has the greatest market potential: Italy, France and Spain are the three most populous nations with a lot of collection to do.
The situation in Eastern Europe is changing and therefore there is a strong development potential, even if they lack financial incentives and a clear policy framework.
Some systems of waste management which are considered innovative – such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Sweden and Norway – have been unable to approach the target. But, contrary to what happens in the Mediterranean states, the reason does not concern landfills, but the market for waste incineration, traditionally widespread. Switzerland, for example, recovers only 10 percent of plastic and incinerates the remaining 90 percent.
“Until now, there was no analysis of the operating systems in Europe,” says Marcel Siebertz, who led the study for Ecoprog. That’s why the German company has collected information on 1,200 European plants, analyzing and comparing them in a market study and a forecast on future development.