Recycling targets will be missed, Tories claim

Government targets for household recycling will be “significantly” missed if current trends continue, according to opposition analysis.

The Scottish Conservatives said the percentage of recycled household waste has only risen from 40.1% to 45.6% between 2011 and 2017, with a national target set at 60% by 2020.

If annual increases continue in the same trend, it will take until 2032 to meet the target, the Tories said.

The figures come as the opposition party plans to use next week in the Scottish Parliament to highlight environmental issues.

Maurice Golden, Scottish Conservative environment spokesman, said: “The SNP appear to have no ability to substantially improve household recycling and would rather bury waste in the ground, export to China or burn it.

“The Scottish Conservatives will this week be focusing attention on ways to improve the environment and create a cleaner, greener Scotland.

“The SNP must dramatically increase our recycling rate and ensure that Scotland is playing its part in tackling climate change.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “This claim ignores the reality of major policy initiatives such as the forthcoming deposit return scheme which is widely expected to improve recycling rates significantly.

“Past trends are therefore not a reliable guide to the future rate of recycling. What is more, we have seen good progress on recycling of waste from all sources to date, which reached 61% this year, an increase of 4.6%.”