Israel recycles more plastic bottles than US or Europe

JERUSALEM (JWN)—The 2011 recycling figures are in: Israelis collected nearly 77% of all their beverage containers in 2011. The government’s target was a more modest 73%.

In the most popular plastic field, Israelis recycled a record 50 percent of their plastic bottles in 2011—representing some 20,000 tons of PET plastic, up from 16,000 tons in 2010.

The new figures show that Israel has edged past Europe, at 48%, but is way ahead of the United States, with just 29% of plastic bottles recycled, the ELA recycling company reported.

While Israelis recycled only about 16,000 tons of plastic PET bottles in 2010, the 2011 figures reached about 20,000 tons, according to ELA.

ELA attributes the growing success of recycling in Israel to the passage of the Packaging Law that encourages the ecological practice and a massive public relations campaign over the past year. In addition to recycling, Israelis have returned bottles to retrieve deposits amounting to NIS 1.04 billion.

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