UK recycling rate falls for the first time

The first reversal in national recycling rates has sparked renewed calls for extended producer responsibility in the UK

Household recycling, composting and reuse rates have fallen across the UK for the first time, according to the latest figures from DEFRA, driven by falls in England and Northern Ireland.

The average household recycling rate dropped to 44.3% in 2015, a fall of 0.6 percentage points compared to the 44.9% recorded in 2014.

This is the first time the ‘waste from households’ measure has fallen since it was first calculated in 2010 to fit better with current EU definitions. It excludes waste not generated in the household such as material from street bins and sweepings.

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