Austria has been revealed as the world’s best country for recycling in a new study by Reloop and Eunomia Research and Consulting. Wales leads the way in the UK, coming in at number 2. Northern Ireland was ranked 9th England at 11th and Scotland at 15th among the 48 countries included in the comparison.

The report examined the recycling performance of 48 countries, including the countries that report the highest recycling rates and many of the world’s largest economies. The study also includes lower income countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa, to highlight global disparities.

TOMRA, The Welsh Government, International Aluminium Institute and the Can Manufacturers Institute in collaboration with Reloop funded the research with the aim of ascertaining who was doing what well when it comes to recycling.

The report compares countries’ recycling rates on a like-for like basis. The focus is on ‘municipal waste’ recycling rates in line with the definition used by the EU. Municipal waste is household waste and waste from other sources that are similar in nature and composition to household waste.

A country’s performance was analysed from their officially reported recycling rate (if they have one – wherever possible using a figure that approximates a “municipal” recycling rate) and endeavours to use underlying waste data and other published sources to adjust the results to present them on a consistent basis.

Joe Papineschi, Chairperson, Eunomia Research and Consulting said: “It is very important to understand how each country around the world is performing in terms of waste generation and recycling of the generated waste so that we can accurately track the progress on moving towards a more circular world economy. This Eunomia initiative will enable us to do that, with 48 countries already included in this phase, and more countries to be added in the subsequent phases.”

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