The UK has come in eighth place in the European Union’s table for waste management.
A new report unveiled yesterday graded the member states against 18 criteria such as total waste recycled and pricing of waste disposal, with the UK receiving a red flag for its failure to restrict biodegradable waste going to landfill.
Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik, who released the report said: “The picture that emerges from this exercise confirms my strong concerns. Many member states are still landfilling huge amounts of municipal waste – the worst waste management option – despite better alternatives and despite structural funds being available to finance better options.”
The report is expected to help the Commission identify the countries with the best policies and help the worst performing countries.
Mr Potocnik added: “Valuable resources are being buried, potential economic benefits are being lost, jobs in the waste management sector are not being created and human health and the environment suffer.”
The Commission said full implementation of EU waste legislation could save €72billion (£56.8billion) a year, increase the annual turnover of the EU waste management and recycling sector by €42billion (£33billion) and create more than 400,000 jobs by 2020.