UK recycling rate decreases by 0.5%

The recycling of householders in the UK has decreases by 0.5% according to new figures published by Defra today (19 March).

The UK recycling rate was 45.5% in 2017. According to new Defra figures published this morning (19 March), the 2018 recycling rate has decreased by 0.5% to 45%.

The 2018 recycling rate decreased in all UK countries except for Northern Ireland.

UK countries’ 2018 recycling rate:

  • England – 44.7%
  • Northern Ireland – 47.7%
  • Scotland – 42.8%
  • Wales – 54.1%

Defra says the reduction in England’s recycling rate is due to a reduction in “other organics”, such as garden waste.

UK biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill has reduced by 7.4m tonnes in 2017, meaning the UK is still on track to meet the EU to restrict BMW to 35% by 2020.

Defra figures also show that 70% of UK packaging waste was either recycled or recovered compared to 71.4% in 2016. This exceeds the EU target to recycle or recover at 60% of packaging.

It’s estimated that the UK generated 41.1m tonnes of commercial and industrial waste in 2016, of which 33.1m tonnes was generated in England. The latest estimates for England only for 2018 indicate C&I waste generation was around 36.1m tonnes in 2017 and 37.2m tonnes in 2018.

In 2016, the UK generated 221m tonnes of waste total – with England responsible for 85% of this.

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