Keep Britain Tidy (KBT) is urging the Government to create a national “recycling blueprint” that is similar to that of Wales.
Currently the recycling rates across England are deemed to be too low and campaigners claim that the reason is that council schemes are too confusing.
The average rate across the country is just 43.9 per cent, which is still below the lowest performing authority in Wales, with the average recycling rate being found at 60 per cent in 2016.
In England, the lowest performing authority for recycling was found to be Newham with residents recycling just 15 per cent of their waste.
UK councils must recycle at least half of waste by 2020 in order to meet the European Union’s Waste Framework Directive.
Richard Mcllwain, KBT’s deputy chief executive said that, “it’s very difficult to have a national conversation about what we can recycle and what should be recycled when everyone is doing something different.”
He said that local authorities should learn from Wales and that the country’s success is thanks to a nationwide waste and recycling blueprint that England does not currently have:
They’ve also got a system where every household in Wales has a food waste collection and that’s incredible important because we waste seven million tonnes of food in this country every year.”
“It’s really important to capture it because otherwise it goes straight to landfill. What we can do is collect that food and put it through a process where we can [extract]gas [from it] and put that back into the national grid.”
It was announced in December 2016 that recycling rates had dropped in England for the first time with the recycling rate of 44.8 per cent in 2014 dropping to 43.9 per cent in 2015, meaning that the country could well miss the EU recycling targets set for 2020.
A spokesman for Defra said at the time that, “we are recycling four times as much as we were in 2000, but the slight dip in the household recycling rates clearly shows more needs to be done.”