At last we are doing some things right as SEPA, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency publishes figures which show a 15% decrease in Scotland’s household waste carbon impact from 2011 to 2018.
There is a continued increase in recycling rates, particularly for high impact waste materials, as well as reduction in waste generated and reduced landfilling of biodegradable waste.
The carbon impact of household waste generated and managed in 2018 was 5.76 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent – which is 1.06 TCO2e per person.
We are becoming less wasteful at home as household waste fell by another 2% in 2018, from 2.46 million tonnes in 2017 to 2.41 million tonnes in 2018, a decrease of 55,574 tonnes.
And we recycle more sending less of our waste to landfill sites: 7% or 75,491 tonnes down from 2017. This is the seventh consecutive decrease in household waste landfilled since 2011 – and for the second consecutive year there was more Scottish waste recycled (1.07 million tonnes) than landfilled (1.03 million tonnes).
Recycling rates for plastic and glass rose. Paper and cardboard makes up the largest volume of recycled material but the amount being recycled/reused is declining.
Unfortunately we are still recycling less than half of our household waste so we still have a long way to go to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.