United Kingdom – The recycling, reuse and composting rate in England reached 44.8% in the 12 months to December 2014, says a new report from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The figure represents a slight increase when compared to the 44.2% recorded in the previous year.
The small upturn is believed to have been driven by an almost 10% increase in the volume of organic waste recycled. And yet, Defra observes, the UK still has some catching up to do if it is to achieve the EU target of recycling 50% of household waste by 2020.
In a bid to boost recycling results, the Waste & Resources Action Programme charity and environmental consultancy Valpak are teaming up to research the lifecycle of paper and cardboard. The material flow project will assess how paper and cardboard are treated as waste and will predict potential flow and recycling rates through to 2020.
The steering group tasked with co-ordinating the project – including representatives from industry, DEFRA and the Environment Agency – will publish its findings in early 2016.
Meanwhile, WRAP reports that its work in the UK over the last five years has resulted in 4 million tonnes less waste being produced and nearly 50 million tonnes of carbon equivalent emissions being avoided.