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UK government urged to tackle stalled recycling rates

United Kingdom – The UK Parliament wants the British government to take more action to reduce waste and improve recycling rates in order to meet EU 2020 targets, reports The Guardian newspaper. According to Members of Parliament (MPs), ministers have stepped back from efforts to encourage people to recycle just as growth in rates in England has reached a plateau.

In its waste management report, the environment, food and rural affairs parliamentary committee states that the government should take the lead in ‘increasing the rate of recycling and cutting the amount of rubbish thrown in landfill’. The average person in England throws away five times their body weight a year, adding up to 22.6 million tonnes of household waste.

Recycling rates were at 12.5% in 2001 and grew each year to 43% by 2011 – but they climbed just 0.2 percentage points the following year. The MPs underline a need for ‘greater, not less, government intervention’.

Under EU targets, households must recycle 50% by 2020 and potentially up to 70% by 2030.

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