Prof. Nickolas Themelis reviewed the data presented in the Reshaping Plastics report of April 2022 

These data show that  the EU manages better its plastic wastes than the US::

-Recycling (mech+chemical) 13.9% of total; adding the 2 million tons exported and assuming they all go to recycling,

           Total recycling 21.8%.    Compare with about 10% in US.

– Plastic waste to energy recovery (12.1 million tons) =48.0% of total.   Compare with 9% in the US.

-Plastic waste landfilled or “mismanaged” (7.4 million tons)= 29.4 %.   Compare with about 80% in the US.

However, the text of this report does not present the data fairly. For example, they lump energy recovery with landfilling and “mismanagement” (in the statement made in the Reshaping Plastics report,  *6% of the plastic waste is disposed or mismanaged”).

The position of the Global WtERT Council is that “all possible efforts should be made to recycle waste materials. The remaining POST-RECYCLING wastes can either be incinerated with energy recovery (WTE) or landfilled.”

On this basis, EU landfills about 34.8% of its post recycling wastes and the US 90%.

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