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UK increased recycling rates fastest in Europe over past decade

March 20, 2013

UK increased recycling rates fastest in Europe over past decade

Recycling rates in the UK rose faster in the first decade of the millennium than any other country in Europe, according to official statistics published on Tuesday. Although UK started from a low base in 2001 ? recycling rates were just 12% for all municipal waste ? it increased by the greatest amount by 2010, reaching 39% on par with the average for EU.

But the European Environment Agency (EEA), which released the figures, warned that many countries will fail to meet a European directive of recycling 50% of waste by 2020. In particular, those in south-eastern Europe are struggling far behind: Greece only recycles 18%, up from 9% in 2001, while Romania recycles just 1%. In a few cases, countries have gone backwards, with Norway’s rates falling from 44% to 42%, and Finland’s dropping from 34% to 33%.

Jacqueline McGlade, EEA executive director, said: “In a relatively short time, some countries have successfully encouraged a culture of recycling, with infrastructure, incentives and public awareness campaigns. But others are still lagging behind, wasting huge volumes of resources. The current intense demand for some materials should alert countries to the clear opportunities in recycling.”

Read more at Guardian News.

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