Swedish waste recycling up in 1999

Agency reports general advance, good first results on old cars, more progress needed on aluminium

Sweden is continuing to recycle more waste and in 1999 already exceeded most national and EU targets for 2001, according to a review by the Swedish environmental protection agency (EPA). However, the report also shows that national recycling rates for steel packaging, aluminium cans and PET bottles fell slightly between 1997 and 1999 (see table below).

The latest statistics confirm that Sweden is well on track to meet EU targets for recycling packaging set in the 1994 packaging directive. Indeed the 73% aggregate recycling rate achieved in 1999 is considerably above the maximum level of 65% recovery nominally allowed under the EU law.

According to the EPA, the main area where improvements are still required is aluminium packaging. The recycling rate jumped from 12% to 33% in 1999, but was still well below targeted levels. First figures for old car recycling, on the other hand "look good," the agency says. Based on an analysis of one-quarter of scrapped cars, the EPA reports 81% recycling in 1999. This already exceeds the EU target of 80% due to take effect in 2005 under the recently finalised end-of-life vehicles directive (ENDS Daily 24 May).

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Percentage Swedish waste recycling and current targets:
                           Recycling     Targets
                          1997  1999   97-00  2001
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Waste paper                78    79            75 (2000)
Tyres                      89   117      80    80
Cars                             81            85 (2002)
        Packaging:
Glass                      77    84      70    70
Plastic                    18    34      30    30
Paper, cardboard           34    40      30    40
Corrugated cardboard       84    84      65    65
Steel                      64    62      50    70
Aluminium                  12    33      50    70
Aluminium cans             91    84      90    90
Returnable glass bottles   97    98      95     -
Returnable PET (recycled)  77    74      90    90
Returnable PET (reused)    98    91      90     -
Packaging, total                 73
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Source:  Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
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Follow Up:
Swedish EPA, tel: +46 8 698 1167.

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