Is Britain Losing the Recycling Battle? New Study Shows Outside Top Ten Ranking

A brand new study has cast doubt over whether or not Britain is actually winning the recycling battle as it emerges the country is only eleventh on a new league table.  

The infographic, commissioned by recycling bins retailers, studied Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) data from around the world, with nations such as Austria, America, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark and the UK all included. The results show just how much everyday rubbish or MSW each nation recycles, from food scraps and product packaging which every British household is now expected to separate from other rubbish in order to aid with recycling targets, to other items such as clothing and discarded furniture.

The conclusions of the study show that despite the steps forward made in recent years, Great Britain still lags behind most of its European neighbours and is several places behind the United States on the recycling front. The research puts Austria at the top of the leader board with 63% of its MSW recycled, while the UK is languishing in 11th place at almost half that amount with just 39% recycled. The UK is also a long way off second placed Germany, which recorded a 62% score and joint third place holders Belgium and Switzerland both of whom manage to recycle half of their national municipal waste.

What’s surprising is that the Recycling Bins infographic shows that not only is Great Britain not even a top ten contender, it is also not far off slipping from its eleventh placed perch. Twelfth placed Slovenia is just two points behind, with a 37% recycling ratio. Other nations snapping at Britain’s heels include Spain, Italy and Ireland, all of which recycle 35% of their municipal waste

The top 10 MSW table

Top 10
1) Austria - 63%
2) Germany - 62%
3) Belgium - 50%
3) Switzerland - 50%

5) USA 49%
6) Sweden - 49%
7) Netherlands - 48%
8) Luxembourg - 46%
9) Norway - 42%
10) Denmark - 40%

Jon Horsfield, Director or said, “We were surprised that when all of the data is tallied up, Great Britain can only manage eleventh placed on the list as we know that strides have been made in recent years. What is worrying is how little an advantage there is over those further down the list, which suggest that our recycling rates are mediocre at best. This is really a wake up call which shows just how important it is that everyone gets involved with separating their rubbish and using recycling bins.

“Over 60% of the rubbish we produce as a country isn’t currently being recycled which shows what a tremendous strain is being placed on landfills and the sheer volume of materials that are being discarded where other countries are finding other uses for them.”

To view the infographic in full and for recycling products and tips, visit

Please direct press queries to Rebecca Appleton at Dakota Digital. Email or Tel: 01623 428996. offers an extensive range of recycling bins for schools, office and the home. We offer great prices on single items and even better discounts for anyone buying multiple products. Our products help customers recycle tonnes of waste every day. We’ve provided the tools for many successful recycling and waste reduction schemes in schools, offices and other venues. We stock leading brands and premium quality items at great, competitive prices. Where possible we include recycling advice to help you get the most from our product lines. Most of our products are manufactured from recycled materials with as much as 90% of some bins coming from recycled plastic. We offer purchase order arrangements and pre-approved credit for public sector organisations from schools and colleges to the NHS. We’re proud to be known as a premier UK supplier.