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Survey shows recycling problems - COMMENT UPDATE

Local councils are still not collecting basic recyclable items such as plastic bottles and food waste from householders, according to a consumer group.

Which? magazine has found that around 40% of residents have no doorstep collection for cardboard and plastic bottles. A further 70% do not have collections for plastic packaging.

The statistics come at a time when the Government has recently given the thumbs up for councils to operate alternate weekly collections, in order to create greater recycling rates.

Other common materials that people were unable to recycle were food waste (64%), drink cartons (70%) and cans and tins (23%).

Which? magazine editor Nick Fowler said: While some councils are undoubtedly winning their war on waste and recycling around half of everything thrown out by households, others recycle only a tenth of their rubbish.

And were still lagging well behind countries such as
Austria and Germany , which boast national recycling rates of more than 50%.

The online survey asked 2,667 Which? members what they found difficult to recycle.

Green Party MEP Caroline Lucas said: This survey shows we still have a long way to go if we are to boost recycling levels in the
UK .

The apparent correlation between council-operated doorstep recycling collections and overall recycling levels is stark. If we are to prevent the
UK drowning in a sea of waste everyone should be able to benefit from doorstep recycling collections.

Householders have been urged to complain to their council if their recyclable items are not being collected.

Fowler said: Recycling is a cornerstone in the fight against climate change, but councils need to do more to make it as easy as possible to recycle on our doorsteps - or the net effect will be drastically reduced as people either get in their

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