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#13.11.2018 Additional challenges to a real recycling dynamic – improving reporting in Europe

By Alexis Van Maercke

The reliability of data is critical when measuring EU member states’ recycling performance.

The Circular Economy Package tackles this challenge with the proposed adoption of a common reporting methodology which will enable national data to be communicated in a uniform and complete format. However the level to which that data is broken down is something which still requires further debate.

Currently, each country reports data differently because of the complexity of reporting systems at a national level – ultimately, the datasets submitted to Eurostat are a compilation of many data sources which compromises reliability.

As part of its annual steel for packaging recycling rates exercise, APEAL has worked with Green Dot systems, packaging associations and many National Authorities across EU Member States to gain insight regarding the difficulty of gaining access to complete and reliable data.

Within the new APEAL report two examples of good practice from Germany and Slovakia are illustrated in detail.  These could be adapted and extrapolated to other systems.

Ultimately, in order to have robust datasets on national recycling performances, updating and adapting the data reporting procedures across EU Member States is of main relevance. Transparent data is key in order to assess recycling and traceability and better recycling guidelines are now needed to ensure that EU Member States not only put adequate recycling systems in place, but also provide data in the format required to properly assess their performance.

Launched at the Steel for Packaging, a Pioneer of Circular Economy Brussels event involving representatives from the European Parliament, the European Commission, Member States and Regions, APEAL’s report: Good Practices on Separate collection, Sorting and Recycling of Steel for Packaging, has been compiled using examples of good practice from countries across the EU.

Showcasing the varied projects, systems and processes by which steel packaging is recycled the report provides detailed information for organisations and individuals wishing to learn more about a real and successful material recycling story and aiming to play a meaningful role in the drive to increase recycling and achieve a more circular economy.

Obtain the full report here