Reprocessing capacity is not yet large enough to handle waste material that people are willing to recycle. In Germany, capacity is 250,000 tonnes, but as of 1993 450,000 tonnes of material had been gathered for recycling. Exportation of the surplus waste to other countries only exacerbates those countries' waste disposal problems in turn.
In 1993 there remained considerable disagreement on whether to burn wastes or simply collect less waste, on whether recycling should be mandatory, and on what quotas to set. Targets per country range from 50% to 80% recovery of packaging materials with 30% to 80% of the recovered material to be recycled.
3.1% less packaging material was used in 1992 than in 1991 in Germany. For packaging alone, the USA uses approximately 50% of its paper, 75% of its glass, 40% of its aluminium and 30% of its plastics. In 1993, only about one eighth of household waste in Europe was recycled.