Dutch plastic waste that is incinerated or landfilled, for example abroad, often counts as recycled in the statistics. In the Netherlands, only the sorted waste is measured just before recycling, but not what has actually been recycled. Report that NRC and the journalists collective Lighthouse Reports Sunday based on own research.
According to the newspaper, there is poor registration when it comes to Dutch plastic waste. International trade in waste also obscures what is happening with the plastic.
For example, the weight of the sorted bales of plastic is often many times higher, because it still contains moisture and dirt. In the Netherlands, plastic waste is also exported abroad for processing. Subsequently, no corrections are made if it appears that not everything has been recycled there, for example if some of it is incinerated.
Plastic waste that goes to countries outside the European Union is always registered as recycled in the Netherlands due to regulations. NOC however, published on Friday how Dutch plastic waste appears to have been dumped in Turkey.
’52 percent of Dutch waste recycled ‘
According to the newspaper, the Waste Fund, which registers all recycling, states that 52 percent of Dutch household and industrial waste is ultimately recycled. That percentage must be according to recent Wageningen research actually a quarter lower.
New regulations will be introduced next year to better monitor the recycling industry. From then on, plastic waste may no longer be weighed for recycling, but only after the plastic has been filtered and washed. The percentage of Het Afvalfonds may then drop to about 40 percent, says NRC.