New stats show government still failing on waste crisis

Press release
More focus needed on waste reduction
  Published:  15 Jul 2021    |      1 minute read

Commenting on the latest UK waste and recycling statistics published today, Friends of the Earth plastic campaigner Camilla Zerr said:

“Ministers are still failing to get to grips with the waste crisis.

“Despite modest improvements, less than half of our domestic waste is recycled, with the rest either burned or buried. Meanwhile the enormous waste mountain continues to grow.

“Plastic packaging remains a big problem. Provisional 2020 figures show an extra 220,000 tonnes was generated compared to 2017, casting more doubt on the government’s ability to fulfil its ambition for all plastic packaging to be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

“There has to be an urgent shift in emphasis towards reducing the amount of waste produced in the first place, with far more reuse, refill and repair, along with legally binding targets for reducing unnecessary plastic. This is what the public supports, and what the government has to deliver.”


Notes to editors:

1. A new poll published last month by Friends of the Earth and City to Sea found that 81% of Brits want the UK government to make refillable products easier to buy and more widely available, as a main priority for reducing plastic pollution.

2. A YouGov poll for Friends of the Earth published in February 2019 found: 

• 89% support a law to significantly reduce plastic waste and pollution within 25 years - with 61% expressing strong support

• 88% support a law to ensure manufacturers and retailers phase out all non-essential single-use plastic by 2025 - with 60% expressing strong support