A Greener Nation: Promoting Recycling in the UK | IPT
Chair: Derek Thomas MP, Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Speaker: Tim Rotheray, Director, Viridor
Breakfast Meeting


Wednesday 10 June 2020


House of Commons

Start Time:


End Time:


It is estimated that the UK generated 41.1 million tonnes of commercial and industrial waste in 2016, of which 80% was generated in England. Meanwhile every year British households throw away 22 million tonnes of waste. Recycling rates have stagnated at around 44% and the UK is unlikely to hit its target of 50% recycling rates by the end of 2020 and a report by packaging producer DS Smith estimated that the UK will be unable to meet its 2035 target of a 65% recycling rate

Since 2002, the amount of waste sent overseas has increased six-fold, accounting for half of the packaging reported as recycled last year. In the Queen’s Speech the Government announced that the Environment Bill will enable the creation of charges for single-use plastic items and will establish a deposit return scheme to incentivise recycling. How can government, industry and households create a clear recycling framework for the UK?


This breakfast meeting will:

  • Consider barriers to recycling, including confusion over labelling.
  • Discuss how to upgrade the UK’s recycling infrastructure to cope with a highly e-commerce-based economy and the roll out of the deposit return scheme
  • Explore what to do with waste that cannot be recycled