UK recycling figures see first drop

Figures released by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show that the level of household waste which is recycled in the UK has fallen for the first time.

The monitoring of figures began in 2010, with the latest statistics showing that 44.3 per cent of household rubbish was recycled in 2015, down from 44.9 per cent in 2014. Although a drop on the previous year, the figure remains the second highest annual rate on record.

Current European Union targets for the UK are set for the country to recycle at least 50 per cent of household waste by 2020.

Split regionally, the drop in figures went from 44.8 per cent to 43.9 per cent in England, and 42.5 per cent to 42 per cent in Northern Ireland.

However, over the same period, Scotland saw a rise from 41 per cent to 42 per cent, and Wales saw a rise in recycling levels from 54.8 per cent to 55.8 per cent.