Romania recycles only 30% of plastic used

Alina Oprea
By 2060, global rivers, seas, and oceans could be polluted with 44 million tonnes of plastic, double the current level, estimates a recent report by The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Plastic is among the packaging most often used by Romanians, but its recycling rate in Romania is only 30.05%, according to the data analyzed by Clean Recycle. Romania ranks last in the EU regarding the recycling of packaging waste, with the percentage falling in 2020 to 39.87%, almost 5% less than in 2019, according to the latest European statistics. Recently, the European Commission included Romania among the countries in Europe exposed to the risk of not meeting the objectives for 2025 neither in terms of municipal waste nor in terms of packaging waste.

Although drastic measures have been taken in Europe to reduce the production and overuse of plastic, this packaging waste is still a challenge for many EU countries, according to an analysis by Clean Recycle, one of the largest companies on the local market for the transfer of responsibility for packaging waste (OIREP).

The most recycled packaging waste in Romania is metal (51.12%) or glass (42.67%).

In Romania, the recycling rate of packaging waste decreased by 5%.

Romania ranks last in the European Union regarding the recycling of packaging waste, with the percentage falling in 2020 to 39.87%, almost 5% less than in 2019, according to the latest European statistics.

Comparatively, the EU champions in this chapter are Belgium with 79.2%, the Netherlands with 74.7% and Luxembourg with 71.9%.

Environmental targets have increased in 2023 so packaging waste should be recycled at a rate of 65%. From 2025, this percentage will rise to 70%.

Packaging waste placed on the Romanian market must be reported to the environmental authorities through the OIREPs (Organizations that Implement the Obligations regarding Extended Producer Responsibility). In the first five months of 2023, Clean Recycle managed an amount of more than 55,000 tons of recyclable waste (paper/cardboard, plastic, PET, glass, steel, aluminum, wood) for the 700 companies in its portfolio. Of this amount, 3,600 tons were PET plastic waste and 11,400 tons – of other types of plastic waste.

"We are still far below the European average in terms of packaging waste recycling and far from the environmental targets imposed by the European Commission. We face the unpredictability of legislation, a lack of awareness and education of the population towards eco-responsible behavior, but also a lack of infrastructure. Plastic is probably the biggest challenge, but there are problems with all types of packaging waste, if we don't provide the population with a conducive framework through which selective collection is no longer considered an effort", says Cosmin Monda, founder, and CEO of Clean Recycle.

Recently, the European Commission included Romania among the countries in Europe exposed to the risk of not meeting the objectives for 2025 neither in terms of municipal waste nor in terms of packaging waste, together with Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.

Clean Recycle is one of the top 5 players in the local market of the transfer of responsibility for packaging waste (OIREP), taking over the obligation to report, collect and recover packaging and packaging waste placed on the market by manufacturers and importers. Clean Recycle manages a portfolio of over 700 companies that produce and market packaging waste, active throughout Romania, from fields such as FMCG and retail, agribusiness, automotive, distribution, industrial production, pharmaceuticals, etc.

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Green Forum  |  17 May, 2024 at 9:00 AM