UK ranked tenth in latest European recycling table

London recycles

According to the EU’s statistics body, Eurostat, the UK had the tenth highest recycling rate in Europe in 2015.

Once again Germany found itself in first place, having recycled no less than 66.1 per cent of waste, up from 65.6 per cent in 2014.

Finding itself in tenth place alongside Italy, which also recycled at a rate of 43.5 per cent, the UK has dropped one place in the table, from 2014.

This is due to a great increase in recycling from Slovenia, which had raised its recycling rate from 36 per cent to 54.1 per cent in the space of a year — climbing from 12th position.

Although the country once struggled with recycling, sitting at a rate of just 22 per cent in 2010, it has focussed on minimising waste in recent years.

The EU has set a 50 per cent recycling rate for all member states by 2020.

So far six nations have achieved this goal, although some nations have seen their rates fall this year, including Sweden’s, which has fallen from 49.9 per cent in 2014 to 48 per cent in 2015.

Nations that are in drastic need of improvement include the likes of Cyprus at 17.9 per cent, Slovakia at 14.9 per cent, Malta at 6.3 per cent, and Montenegro at 5.4 per cent.

The body also published how much waste was generated per person, finding that in the UK on average each person generated around 485kg of waste, up from 842kg in 2014.

This is slightly higher than the continent norm of 477kg of waste per person, though far behind Cyprus, Germany, Luxenberg, and Malta, all of which produced more than 600kg of waste per person.

On a whole the data suggests that more waste per person is being created per person for the first time since 2007, although this has fallen by nine per cent as the generation stood at 527kg per person in 2002.

The top ten countries for recycling are as follows:

  1. Germany – 66.1 per cent
  2. Austria – 56.0 per cent
  3. Slovenia – 54.1 per cent
  4. Belgium – 53.4 per cent
  5. Switzerland – 52.7 per cent
  6. Netherlands – 51.7 per cent
  7. Sweden – 48.0 per cent
  8. Luxembourg – 48.0 per cent
  9. Denmark – 46.3 per cent
  10. UK – 43.5 per cent

The top ten countries for waste per person are as follows:

  1. Denmark – 789kg
  2. Switzerland – 725kg
  3. Cyprus – 638kg
  4. Germany – 625kg
  5. Luxembourg – 625kg
  6. Malta – 624kg
  7. Austria – 560kg
  8. Montenegro – 533kg
  9. Netherlands – 523kg
  10. France – 502kg

Munich recycles

Andy has worked as a freelance journalist for a number of years and has been published in some of the UK’s top newspapers. He is now the editor Commercial Waste Magazine and contributes to a large selection of headlines and blog articles on the site.

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