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UK ranks 18th in Europe for MSW generated per person

The UK has been ranked 18th highest among the 27 EU member states for levels of municipal solid waste (MSW) generated per person, according to a new European Commission report.

Published to support the commission’s thematic strategy on waste prevention and recycling, the report found that overall MSW per person across all states increased by 5% between 1997 and 2008, rising from an average of 499kg to 524kg.

However, by 2008 the UK’s overall MSW per person figure stood at 565kg, placing it below Italy, which stood at 561kg per person and above Spain, which stood at 575kg per person.

Despite the ranking, the change over the survey period ranked the UK 10th among member states for MSW generated, after posting a 6% increase between 1997 and 2008.

European Commissioner for Environment Janez Potočnik said: “We have not managed to reduce the total amount of waste generated, although in most countries it has grown slowly. The most recent data does actually show a moderate decrease, but this seems likely to have more to do with the economic crisis.”

In his speech, the commissioner also commented that the Commission has proposed to revise WEEE Directive targets to an 85% collection rate.

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