The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has warned that that the UK is “by no means certain” to reach the European Union's (EU) 50% household waste recycling target by 2020.
The UK recycling rate of ‘waste from households' reached 44.9% in 2014, rising from 44.1% in 2013. Back in 2010, the figure was 40.4%.
There is an EU target for the UK to recycle at least 50% of household waste by 2020.
The ESA's executive director, Jacob Hayler said: “The latest Defra figures on household waste recycling show that the UK is by no means certain to reach the EU's 50% target by 2020.
“It is interesting to see that while recycling rates in Wales and Scotland have increased by about 2% a year for the last five years, in England – which makes up over 80% of the UK figures – the annual rate of increase in recycling has been below 1%.
“This suggests that more political leadership will be needed to ensure that England makes its due contribution to the UK's recycling performance over the next five years.”
UK Biodegradable Municipal Waste (BMW) sent to landfill has continued to reduce and in 2013 was 9.2 million tonnes. This represents 26% of the 1995 baseline value, which comfortably met the 2013 EU target of being no greater than 50% of the 1995 baseline.