Europe’s bottled water producers want to increase plastic bottle collection rates to 90 per cent by 2025 from the current 60 per cent to improve recycling and cut waste.
“Our packaging today is part of the unacceptable phenomenon of littering alongside other discarded items,” the European Federation of Bottled Waters said in a statement on Monday.
The Federation, which represents national associations and several major companies, say the new industry goal is to collect 90 per cent of all PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles by 2025, as an average across the European Union.
Almost 60 per cent of PET bottles are now collected for recycling, although with big national variations. The Federation did not say exactly how the goal would be achieved, nor did it give costs.
Some countries such as Germany impose high deposits on bottles to encourage recycling. Britain plans this year to introduce a deposit return scheme for single-use drink containers.
The Federation also said it would work with the recycling industry “to use at least 25 per cent recycled PET in its water bottles by 2025, as an EU average”.
It says that the average EU citizen drinks about 110 litres of bottled water a year.