Which European countries are the best and worst at recycling plastic waste?

42% of plastic waste is recycled in the EU according to Eurostat.
42% of plastic waste is recycled in the EU according to Eurostat. Copyright  REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido
Copyright  REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido
By Alice Tidey
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Lithuania topped the ranking, recycling 74.4% of its plastic waste. Estonia came in last, recycling less than a quarter of plastic packaging.


Only 42% of plastic waste was recycled in the European Union in 2016, figures published on Thursday revealed.

According to the EU's official statistic agency, Eurostat, only eight member states recycled more than half of their plastic waste in 2016.

Lithuania recorded the highest recycling share with 74%. It was followed by Cyprus with 64% (figure from 2015) and Slovenia with 62%.

With only 24.6% of its plastic waste recycled, Estonia came in last in the ranking. Finland (25.4%) and France (25.8%) completed the bottom three.

Overall, the recycling rate of plastic packaging has increased in the EU by more than 18 percentage points since 2005, when it stood at 24%.

Estonia is the only country where the share of plastic recycling has actually decreased since 2005 (-0.9%).

READ: The dirty men of Europe — report identifies the worst EU countries for recycling

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