The percentage of household waste which was sent for recycling, composting or re-use reached 40.1% between July 2009 and June 2010, according to figures from Defra.
But the figures reveal that recycling rates increased only 0.4 percentage points relative to the April 2009/March 2010 figure of 39.7%. The rolling July 2009/June 2010 year and April/March financial year have been compared in order to account for seasonal fluctuations, said Defra.
The results were welcomed by environment minister Lord Henley, who said: “We’re recycling more than ever before and producing less waste in the first place, with people across the country working hard to make this happen.”
The news received a more cautious welcome from campaign group Friends of the Earth.
Waste campaigner Becky Slater said: “People around the UK are keen to get even more rubbish out of their bins, and we’re all frustrated by unnecessary packaging.”
“The Government should make more recycling possible in our homes and workplaces, and aim to halve the rubbish that has to go into black bin bags by 2020.”