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11th December 2018

SUEZ responds to publication of annual recycling statistics for England

SUEZ recycling and recovery UK has responded today (11 December 2018) to the publication of statistics for waste management in England, which reveal a decline in the nation’s recycling rate.

David Palmer-Jones, CEO of SUEZ recycling and recovery UK said: “Today’s annual recycling statistics unfortunately continue to show that the country remains in the recycling doldrums, after more than a decade of hard-won behavioural change.

“Although the 2017 figures show an increase of 0.3 percentage points in household waste recycling from 2016, this is undermined by the rolling 12-month household recycling rate to March 2018, which shows a 0.3 percentage point decline compared with the previous period between 2016/17.

“This addition of the extra three months coincides with the introduction of major recycling import restrictions by China, as the world’s largest market for recycled material, which does not bode well for the full figures for 2018.

“The lack of progress is a reflection of the challenges facing the global recycling market; cuts to consumer communication and perhaps consumer apathy and the majority of domestic political activity being focussed on other areas in recent years.

“The imminent Resources and Waste Plan from Defra offers an opportunity for the nation to make an environmental step change, but is not going to be an immediate panacea to the current dwindling performance. We do, however, believe that Defra’s plan will provide a longer-term roadmap for the nation’s journey towards a circular economy and will deliver positive direction for businesses and consumers to the benefit of our environment.”

Download the full Defra report.

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