Rubbish recycling figures show much work needs to be done

New figures released by SEPA today show that recycling in Scotland increased by a meagre 0.2%. Meanwhile the total amount of household waste generated increased by 1%, by a total of 17 thousand tonnes.

Scottish Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson Rebecca Bell said:

“A 0.2% increase in recycling will be a drop in the ocean of this waste management crisis. We can’t afford to wait for granular progress like that. The pandemic has also introduced a whole new swathe of disposable waste into the system. Single use face masks are adding to a mountain of waste.

“Recycling is on everyone’s radar, but good decisions are much more difficult to make if the infrastructure isn’t there to back people up. After years of reduced income from the SNP’s tax freeze policy, councils have not been able to invest adequately in the growth of recycling facilities and many local authority areas cannot meet the demand.

“The Scottish Government’s coping mechanism so far has been to fill lorries and send them south of the border, and the ban on landfill waste has already been dropped.

“This problem needs coherent and coordinated policy. That starts with a country-wide latte levy to prevent millions of cups going straight to landfill, and a conversation about when non-recyclable single use plastics can be banned outright.”

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