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Analysis of recovery of plastic waste in the building and construction sector (2010)

February 2012

Background
Building and construction (B&C) is responsible for over 20% of demand for plastics in Europe It is the second largest market segment for plastics after packaging A wealth of data exists for the recovery of plastic packaging waste across Europe

However, to date there has little or no analysis of plastics waste management in the B&C sector
To address this gap PlasticsEurope commissioned an independent study by Consultic into plastics waste in the B&C sector in the 27 EU Member States (EU27) plus Norway and Switzerland
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Total Plastic Waste vs. Plastics Waste in B&C in EU-27+2 in 2010


Polyethylene (PE), all types combined, accounts the largest share of plastic waste across all sectors.
Polyvinylchloride (PVC) accounts for the largest share of plastics waste in B&C Although responsible for over 20% of demand for plastics, the B&C sector only accounts for 5.5% of total plastics waste
Total Plastics Waste by Polymer Polymer Type
PE-LD, -LLD PE-HD, -MD PP PS, EPS

Total Plastics B&C Waste by Polymer Polymer Type


PE-LD, -LLD PE-HD, -MD PP PS, EPS PVC

Quantity (kt) 6,897 kt 3,461 kt

Share (%)
27.9% 14.0% 17.5% 7.6%

Quantity

(kt) 40 kt 140 kt 70 kt 175 kt 610 kt ---

Share (%)
2.9% 10.3% 5.1% 12.9% 44.7% 0.0% 0.7% 1.8% 1.1% 1.3% 0.7% 8.8% 9.7%

4,317 kt
1,880 kt 1,973 kt 2,947 kt 458 kt 180 kt 335 kt 506 kt 709 kt 1,050 kt 24,713 kt

PVC
PET ABS, ASA, SAN PMMA PA Other Eng. PUR Other Plastics Total

8.0%
PET

11.9%
ABS, ASA, SAN

10 kt
25 kt 15 kt 18 kt

1.9%
PMMA

0.7%
PA

1.4% 2.0% 2.9% 4.3% 100.0%

PCS Other Eng. PUR Other Plastics

10 kt
120 kt 132 kt 1,365 kt

Total

100.0%

Plastic B&C Waste by application


B&C Plastic Waste by Building & Construction applications in EU27+2 (2010)
Others
(e.g. cables, plasticised products)

Application Pipes and ducts Windows Other profiles


Windows 7.0% Other profiles 9.9%

Quantity (kt) 280 kt 95 kt

Share (%)
20.5% 7.0% 9.9% 19.0% 22.0% 8.8%

12.8%

Lining 8.8%

Pipes and ducts 20.5%

135 kt
260 kt 310 kt 120 kt

Insulation 22.0%

Flooring and Wallcovering Insulation Lining Others


(e.g. Cables, Plasti-cised Products)

Flooring & Wallcovering 19.0%

Insulation accounts for the largest share of plastic waste in the Building & Construction sector Followed closely by pipes and ducts and by flooring and wall coverings.

165 kt

12.8%

Total

1,365 kt

100.0%

Treatment of plastic B&C waste in EU27 plus Norway and Switzerland


Rate of mechanical recycling of building/construction plastic waste increased significantly from 2009 to 2010 In 2010 20.0% (in 2009: 15.8%) of the total building/construction plastic waste in the EU 27 + 2 countries were mechanically recycled. 36.2% were energetically recovered mainly in waste incineration plants and as RDF. This results in an overall recovery rate of building/construction plastic waste of 56.2% in 2010 compared to 51.9% in 2009.
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Recovery Rate:
Recycling Rate
- Mechanical Recycling - Feedstock Recycling

56,2%
20,0%
20,0% 0,0%

Energy Recovery

36,2%

Disposal Rate:

43,8%

Treatment of plastic B&C waste in EU27 plus Norway and Switzerland


Treatment of total plastic waste from Building/Construction 2010 in EU 27 + 2 (kt)

Total plastic B/C waste

1.365

disposal

598

recovery

768

of which total recycling

273

thereof mechanical recycling

273

thereof feedstock recycling

of which energy recovery

494

Recovery of plastic B&C waste in building and construction


As in the packaging sector, trends in recovery of building and construction plastic waste demonstrate large disparities across the EU 27+2.

8 countries have recovery rates >80% (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland)

6 countries with no recovery of building/construction plastic waste and a further 3 with less than 5%
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Recovery and disposal of plastic B&C waste in EU27+2 and by country (2010)

Recycling

Energy Revovery
36.2% 67.0% 43.2% 69.3% 83.8% 79.7% 63.0% 80.0% 1.3% 67.1%

Disposal
43.8% 13.5% 40.7% 4.2%

EU27+2
Benelux France

20.0% 19.5% 16.1% 26.5% 12.5% 3.7% 16.9% 16.5% 16.5% 3.5% 31.6% 3.4%

Germany
Italy Poland

Scandinavia
Spain

20.5%

UK
0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

Recovery and disposal of plastic B&C waste in EU27+2 and by country (2010)
A total of 56.2% of plastics B&C waste was diverted from landfill in 2010 through a combination of recycling (20%) and energy recovery (36.2%). Germany provides an example of what can be achieved with the right infrastructure in place, recovering over 96% of plastics B&C waste in 2010. Meanwhile, in Italy and Spain over 80% still ended up in landfill. While the UK leads the way in terms of recycling rates (31.5%) it still sent roughly two thirds of its waste to landfill in 2010 due to minimal use of energy recovery. Scandinavian countries have overall recovery rates of almost 80% due to a strong use of energy recovery.

Recycling

Energy Recovery

Disposal

273 kt 21 kt 25 kt 94 kt 17 kt 15 kt 9 kt

494 kt 73 kt 67 kt 246 kt 5 kt 3 kt 35 kt 3 kt 2 kt

598 kt 14 kt 63 kt 15 kt 114 kt 71 kt 12 kt

14 kt
50 kt

68 kt
106 kt

Recovery and disposal of plastic B&C waste in EU27+2 and by country (2010)
B/C 2010 EU 27+2
Austria Belgium Bulgaria Cyprus Czechia Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland UK Total Waste Generation in kt
35 39 9 2 28 17 4 12 155 355 16 18 4 136 6 7 2 1 68 12 89 19 27 11 4 85 15 31 158

Recovery in kt
Total 33 32 0 0 9 15 0 5 92 340 0 2 1 22 0 0 1 0 61 11 18 6 1 5 0 17 14 31 52 % 94% 82% 2% 0% 31% 88% 0% 37% 59% 96% 0% 12% 19% 16% 0% 1% 65% 0% 90% 88% 20% 31% 4% 40% 0% 20% 96% 100% 33% Mechanical Feed stock Energy Recycling Recycling Recovery 5 4 0 0 8 3 0 2 25 94 0 1 0 17 0 0 0 0 17 3 15 2 1 2 0 14 2 8 50 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 28 28 0 0 1 13 0 3 67 246 0 1 1 5 0 0 1 0 44 8 3 4 0 2 0 3 12 23 2 Total 2 7 8 2 19 2 4 8 63 15 16 15 3 114 6 7 1 1 7 1 71 13 26 7 4 68 1 0 106

Disposal in kt
% 6% 18% 98% 100% 69% 12% 100% 63% 41% 4% 100% 88% 81% 84% 100% 99% 35% 100% 10% 12% 80% 69% 96% 60% 100% 80% 4% 0% 67% Landfill 2 7 8 2 19 2 4 8 62 15 16 15 3 114 6 7 1 1 7 1 71 13 26 7 4 68 1 0 106 Incineration without EfW 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Total

1.365

768

56%

273 20,0%

0 0,0%

494 36,2%

598

44%

597 44%

1 0,1%

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Recovery and disposal of plastic B&C waste in EU27+2 and by country (2010)
Significant mechanical recycling activities in Germany, UK, France, Italy, Netherlands and Poland and Spain. These countries cover more than 80% of the recycling activities.
Strong energy recovery activities could be identified in Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden.

The total recycling quantity increased from 211 kt in 2009 to 273 kt in 2010.

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