While a not-insignificant 42.5 per cent of overall household waste is recycled in the UK, the infrastructure in place to process our rubbish is woefully inadequate. This is partly due to the fact that historically, a lot of recycling waste – especially plastics – was shipped to China to be processed. However, China recently shuttered its doors, meaning a gaping hole was ripped into the UK’s recycling chain.
However, targets have been set. There is the aim to recycle 50 per cent of the UK’s waste by 2020, while Scotland is aiming for an ambitious 70 per cent by 2025. There are also fledgling initiatives taking shape around concepts like deposit return schemes. Successfully deployed in Germany for 15 years, this involves returning bottles after use to reclaim a small deposit. We need to promote circular use over disposable use.