Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy (KBT) says that England should “hang its head is shame” following figures released this week showing Wales’ recycling rate is soaring ahead.
It says the “progressive” waste and recycling policy adopted by the Welsh Assembly is now reaping dividends, after figures revealed that 59% of waste collected by local authorities in Wales is now being recycled.
Keep Britain Tidy’s Deputy Chief Executive Richard McIlwain – “The success in Wales reflects very badly on the situation here in England”
This compares to just 44% in England, a figure that has stayed relatively static over the past two years.
This situation is all the more concerning given that EU legislation requires the UK to achieve an average recycling rate of 50% by 2020 or face penalties, KBT says.
Councils in Wales currently have the highest average recycling rate of all the devolved nations thanks to what KBT calls an ambitious long-term waste strategy to reduce waste and recycle 70% of all waste collected by local authorities.
Unlike England, every local authority in Wales must meet recycling targets that rise gradually to 70% by 2025 or face fines.
Keep Britain Tidy’s Deputy Chief Executive Richard McIlwain said: “The success in Wales reflects very badly on the situation here in England.
“If the Government is serious about getting to grips with waste then it needs to look at what has been implemented in Wales and consider whether measures such as targets for individual local authorities, streamlined and consistent recycling bins and collection frequencies, together with statutory requirements around food waste collection, could drive up the faltering recycling rate in England.”
Keep Britain Tidy works with local authorities up and down the country to help them reduce the amount of residual waste and increase recycling rates as part of its work to encourage people to waste less.