UK already achieving several 2020 waste goals

The UK has already hit several of its 2020 waste targets. A new report from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) shows whilst some areas are in need […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The UK has already hit several of its 2020 waste targets.

A new report from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) shows whilst some areas are in need of improvement, the country is generally either on target to reach or already exceeding its short term goals.

The amount of biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill is continuing to fall. In 2015 it totalled 7.7 million tonnes, 22% of the 1995 baseline figure and way under the 35% target for 2020. This category includes food waste.

The recovery rate of non-hazardous construction and demolition waste is also exceeding its goals – in 2014 it shot past the 70% point to hit 89.9%.

Packaging waste recycling rates fell from 72.7% in 2013, which was significantly above the 60% target, to 64.1% in 2014.

In 2014, 209 million tonnes of waste ware generated, with just under half being recovered or recycled.

The recycling rate for household waste fell from 44.9% in 2014 to 44.3% last year. This is the first time the rate has decreased since 2010, according to Defra.

However, 2015 remains the second best year on record in terms of household recycling and the 2020 goal of 50% is still within reach.

Consumers have said current recycling systems in the UK should be clearer to push rates even higher.