Eunomia report illustrates lack of transparency in current recycling system


Following Eunomia’s report suggesting that the UK overestimated its recycling rate by a third, the Environmental Services Association (ESA) has said that the report highlights the lack of transparency in the current system for recycling rates.  

Eunomia’s new study Plastic Packaging – Shedding Light on the UK Data, found that the real quantity of plastic packaging waste produced is much higher, around 3.5 million tonnes.   


From this, Eunomia has said that if the amount reported as recycled is correct, it appears that “the real recycling rate may be 9-10 percentage points lower than the government claims” and the UK may have failed to meet its recycling target in the years 2008-2012. 

ESA recycling policy advisor Jakob Rindegren said: “Ensuring accurate figures underpin the PRN system is unfortunately an area not given enough attention in the reform debate. And Eunomia’s report is also helpful in putting spotlight on how we measure and report on recycling.” 

More “robust data”, for the industry and policy makers thinking about supportive policies needs to be put into place as the UK tries to ensure more waste is recycled, says the policy advisor.

He added that the figures within Eunomia’s report is just “another estimate” and that claims about the average quantity of contamination in exported plastic are unhelpful.  

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