Germany is currently the world’s leading nation for recycling in the world with a 66% score followed closely by Wales with 64% and Singapore with 61%, respectively.
The report was done by Eunomia, a Bristol-based environmental consultancy, based on recycling rates that countries have self-reported and adjusted in corroboration with publicly available waste data. This helped create more accurate and comparable recycling rate figures and evaluate actual progress between countries.
In spite of this, research still showed that after adjusting for differences in how different countries measure recycling rates, the top 3 countries still remained, Germany 56%, Austria 54% and South Korea 54%.
The report focused on recycling practices in each country to identify where discrepancies lie in how recycling is reported whilst identifying the main differences are in how processes are accounted for, or not, in reported figures.
These include: recycling processing losses, contamination within dry recycling and biowaste, and the inclusion of commercial and industrial waste.
All high-performing nations shared key policies and common waste management practices and legislation, including comprehensive recycling schemes, i.e. a mandatory separate collection of dry recyclables, clear performance targets and policy objectives, funding for recycling, as well as financial and behavioural incentives to directly and indirectly, encourage citizens to recycle.
Such examples include taxes on residual waste treatment and disposal, restrictions on residual waste bins, Deposit Refund Schemes (DFS), and producer responsibility schemes- where producers fund the collection of key recyclables.
Eunomia predicts that Wales is on its way to overtaking Germany by 2018.
You can access the full report here here.