Austria could materially recycle up to 30% of plastics waste, nearly doubling its current rate of 18%, according to a recent Austrian environment agency study. Austria already recycles more of its plastic waste than any other EU state and is one of only three countries to have already met a 15% EU target for recycling of plastics packaging (ENDS Daily 14 April). At the other end of the spectrum, less than 5% of plastics packaging waste is recycled in Ireland, Greece and Portugal, and the majority of EU states are expected to struggle to meet the 15% target, according to industry sources. The Austrian study was commissioned following reports to the government that non-recyclable and dirty objects were appearing in plastics collected from households, hampering recycling operations. The agency has concluded that the efficiency of household waste collections cannot be much improved. However, it claims that there is a great potential to increase recycling of industrial plastics waste. A second study is now being launched to look at what legal measures or fiscal incentives could be used to increase recycling rates for industrial plastics waste, according to a government official.
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