It’s estimated that the United Kingdom generates around 222.2 million tonnes of waste each year. According to recent figures, the recycling rate in 2021 dropped to 43.8%, a fall of 1.7% from the previous year.
In response, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has released ambitious targets
for packaging recycling in the United Kingdom for 2022, aimed at businesses and councils. Their overall recycling rate has been set at 67.6%, with the installation of effective waste-management systems a prominent means for achieving this goal. For councils and local authorities, much of the onus to recycle more efficiently will fall to the general public.
The Environment Bill
, which became law in November 2021, included major changes to waste and recycling practices for households and businesses across the country. Among the most prominent changes is an expansion to the type of materials able to be recycled, as well as the requirement for more consistent, full suites of recycling streams for households and businesses.
On a broader scale, organisations such as Re-London
represent efforts to reduce and improve the management of waste and recycling. Their consensus centres around a “circular economy”, a process that involves finding new ways to cycle materials and value back into the system, reducing the need for “virgin materials” by making the most of what we already have, as well as achieving better segregation of recyclables at the source. This is particularly challenging in more built-up areas, such as blocks of flats.