As UK recycling rates drop – we demand action 16 December 2016

Recycling of waste collected from households across the UK has fallen for the first time since records began.  The drop from 44.9% to 44.3% may seem small but this is deeply worrying. Particularly when you consider that this masks the fact that recycling rates in Scotland and Wales actually increased, leaving England’s performance to drag down the overall UK total. 

Richard McIlwain, Deputy Chief Executive, said: "It seems clear that when governments in Scotland and Wales issue well-crafted waste management plans with clear strategic targets and supporting action to drive up recycling – they get results. Contrast this with England, where we have an ineffectual waste plan, little by way of clear government action and over 300 different systems for collection of recycling. Add in charges for DIY waste and garden waste and you start to see why recycling rates might be declining.

"We are clear – government needs to act and they could start by championing clear national targets, developing a framework for consistent collection systems and using some of the £1 billion raised each year in landfill tax to start helping local authorities to keep recycling centres open and free to access."