Recycling has gained significant traction around the world. There are some countries that have taken the lead and made recycling a priority. Others have lagged behind. Here’s a list of the heavy hitters with their composting/recycling waste according to OECD data.
Germany has a recycling rate of 65%. One way Germany encourages sustainable waste clearance and packaging is with its Green Dot program. The more packaging there is, the higher the fee the manufacturer has to pay. This shows Germany’s commitment to reducing overall waste and not just to recycling. As the highest producer of waste in the EU these steps are important for Germany.
South Korea has a recycling rate of 59%. Recycling is mandatory in South Korea. Food bags are available at stores so people can properly dispose of food waste. Other waste from old clothing to batteries can be recycled from your home.
Switzerland has a 51% recycling rate. This is partly because while recycling is free, waste collection comes with a charge. In Switzerland, there is curbside recycling as well as recycling at grocery stores. Some items have to be taken to special facilities to be recycled. So, while the recycling rate is high, recycling isn’t always convenient.
The Netherlands has a recycling rate of 50%. The Netherlands, like Germany, focuses on reducing waste before recycling, though waste disposal is still very important.
Iceland’s recycling rate is a solid 45%. Reduction in packaging might make this number go up a little bit higher.
The United Kingdom has a recycling rate of 43%. Some areas have good access to eco-friendly rubbish clearance and recycling services but it varies. As recycling becomes more uniformly available throughout the UK, the rate of 43% should rise.