Yesterday, we heard concerns from the National Audit Office that a significant amount of items recycled in the UK could in fact end up in landfill abroad.“
Most people are unaware that most of our recycling goes abroad,” said Mary Creagh, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee of MPs.
n the UK we do not have the infrastructure to handle all our recycling so some of it is distributed to other countries to be treated. This means some of our recycling could end up in landfill without us knowing, but does not take away from the fact that a lot of recycling is still processed correctly overseas.
It is also important to highlight that a lot of the UK’s recycling is in fact processed in the UK and that you can find out, through your local council where your recycling really ends up.
For example, in several London Boroughs, including Hackney, Camden and Waltham Forest, all recycling sacks are sorted and processed within London itself at Bywaters recycling facility.
What’s more, the UK is making impressive strides in recycling, shown by continual increases in our recycling rates. Last year we achieved a 64% improvement rate surpassing the 55% target set by the EU.
There are also simple steps we can take to reduce our plastic waste and help this issue. With Plastic Free July in full swing, we are encouraging our members to avoid single-use plastics and re-use disposable items wherever possible. Check out our recent blog post for tips on how to achieve this.
Through our Recycling Rewards schemes we reward residents for recycling and reusing, encouraging everyone to reduce their household waste. We aim to increase awareness around recycling, as well as motivate residents to recycle more, by using rewards, gamification, an innovative online platform, web app and communications campaign.
In Camden, thanks to our Camden Recycling Rewards, residents in the London Borough of Camden are recycling 10% more of their household items than they did last year. For more information or to request a case study please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.