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Recycling rates of plastic packaging among the European Union member states are on the rise, with all countries except for Malta exceeding the target of 22.5 percent in 2012, data from a new joint report by industry bodies reveals.

The report, compiled by several recycling industry groups, including the European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations (EPRO) and UK charity Recoup, showed that plastic packaging recycling rates across the 27+2 EU members reached 34.7 percent last year, up on 33.6 percent in 2011. Combined, the EU member states managed to recycle 5.4 million tonnes of plastic packaging, Recoup announced in a statement.

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Figures for 2012 showed that 19 countries of the EU 27+2 not only exceeded the target of 22.5 percent but also broke the 30 percent barrier. Malta, however, failed to reach the goal. Topping the chart, Holland achieved a remarkable 50.6 percent of all plastic packaging recycled, followed by the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden and Estonia, all of which scored above the average for the EU.

The report also noted that energy recovery rates went up as well, reaching 34.5 percent, up on 33.2 percent in the previous year. In total, 69.2 percent of all plastic packaging waste across the EU member states was recovered but the remainder ended up in landfills. Seven of the countries sent more than half of their plastic packaging waste to landfills, the report said. The UK was one of them, dumping 63 percent of its plastic packaging waste.