https://deframedia.blog.gov.uk/2019/02/15/uk-waste-statistics-published/

UK Waste Statistics published

A picture of plastic bottle caps in different colours
Photo credit: Getty Images

There is coverage in The Daily Telegraph (p9), The Sun (p24), and the Daily Mail online of the latest Official Statistics on UK household and packaging waste recycling for 2017.

The recycling rate for households has increased overall across the UK to 45.7% in 2017 from 45.2% in 2016. The recycling rate for households has also increased in all UK countries - England is now at 45.2% (up from 44.9% in 2016), Scotland at 43.5% (up from 42.9% in 2016) Northern Ireland at 46.3% (up from 43.3% in 2016), and Wales at 57.6% (up from 57.3% in 2016).

The Mail notes that 70.2% of packaging waste was either recycled or recovered, which far exceeds the EU target to recycle or recover at least 60%. The Mail also notes the amount of plastic being recycled rose more than eight percentage points in four years, with 46.2% being recycled or recovered in 2017.

Coverage notes the target to recycle 50% of household waste by 2020 will continue to apply after the UK has left the EU.

A Defra spokesperson said:

We are committed to recycling more of our rubbish and it is encouraging to see the waste from households recycling rate rising across the UK.

While we have made progress, we recognise rates have plateaued in recent years. That’s why through our landmark Resources and Waste Strategy we will overhaul the waste system so we can go further and faster.

We will introduce a consistent set of recyclable materials collected from all households in England, including plans for weekly collections of food waste, as well as consistent labelling on packaging to drive up recycling rates.

Through our landmark Resources and Waste Strategy, to help drive up recycling levels further the government has announced it will introduce a consistent set of recyclable material for collection, subject to consultation. This will be funded by industry through Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which will see industry pay higher fees if their products are harder to reuse, repair or recycle and will encourage sustainable design, subject to consultation

We are committed to driving up recycling rates and sending less to landfill. The EU’s target to recycling 50% of household waste by 2020 is already in law, introduced in into the UK in 2008 by the Waste Framework Directive. We have also committed to meeting the EU’s 65% recycling by 2035 target through our Resources and Waste Strategy.