Britain recycling less packaging despite Michael Gove’s green revolution


BRITAIN is recycling less packaging despite Michael Gove’s green revolution.

It means the country is set to miss its target of recycling half of household waste by next year.


More than one million tons of plastic was sent to the landfill in 2017

Environment Department figures show that 70.2 per cent of packaging was recycled in 2017 — down from 71.4 per cent the year before.

Paper and card recycling also fell from 3.9 million tons to 3.8 million tons. The numbers are a blow for Mr Gove, who has declared war on waste since becoming Environment Secretary.

Total recycling rates rose slightly — from 45.2 per cent in 2016 to 45.7 per cent in 2017. But the figures still suggest Britain will fail to meet the EU target of 50 per cent by 2020.

They also show more than one million tons of plastic was sent to landfill sites in 2017.

They emerged as a survey showed one in ten councils feared having to cut recycling because they were short of cash.

Shadow environment minister Sandy Martin said: “Despite all Michael Gove’s grandstanding, the rate of recycling for packaging went down.”

An Environment Department spokesman said: “We are committed to recycling more of our rubbish. But we recognise rates have plateaued in recent years.”

Meanwhile, a study found meal kit deliveries from the likes of Hello Fresh cut food waste.

Selling bread by the slice or broccoli by the floret stops shoppers buying too much.

Prof Michael Webber, from the University of Texas, said: “You fine-tune the portions to what people will actually eat.”

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