Abstract – The Nordic region includes some of the most developed and mature waste management and recycling systems in Europe, with various aspects of the industries rightly being seen as world-leading. While the Nordic countries have progressed along the same path as the rest of Europe (92% improvement since 2006 ) with regards to improved recovery and recycling rates of plastic, the bulk of the waste plastic resources are still targeted towards Waste-to-Energy (WtE). Since the adoption of landfill bans and increased taxes on combustible waste (1997 Denmark, 1999 Norway, 2002 Sweden, 2003 Finland), WtE plants have played an important role throughout the Nordics . While energy recovery has offered a short-term solution to the landfilling of plastics (see Figure 1 below ), and securing a low cost feedstock for district heating, there is a clear mismatch between the national recycling targets and the existing recycling infrastructure in the Nordics today. Similarly to the rest of Europe, most of the plastic waste stream is generated from packaging.

Download full article