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Key Scottish Environment Statistics 2012

This publication aims to provide an easily accessible reference document which offers information on a wide range of environmental topics. It covers key datasets on the state of the environment in Scotland, with an emphasis on the trends over time wherever possible.

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Waste Recycling Behaviour: 2000-2011

% surveyed who reported recycling waste items in the past month[11],[12],[13]

% surveyed who reported recycling waste items in the past month

Waste prevention, minimisation and re-use are at the top of the waste hierarchy[1] and recognition for this is given in Scotland's Zero Waste Plan.[10] The Scottish Household Survey[14] provides information on recycling behaviour. Before 2003, adults were asked which, if any, of a selection of certain waste items, they had recycled from home in the past month. From 2003, the same question was asked of households.

In 2011, 89% of households surveyed said they had recycled one or more of the tabulated items in the past month, increasing from 55% in 2003. In 2011, 84% had recycled paper and card, 75% had recycled plastic bottles, and 78% had recycled both metals cans and glass bottles and jars. Since 2003, the percentage of households recycling waste has increased for each item in the survey.

There is a clear relationship between the type of property in which households live and the amount of recycling. In 2011, 94% of households living in a house or bungalow recycled at least one of the items in the past month compared with 80% living in flats. Furthermore, people living on higher floors in flats are less likely to recycle - only 49% of people living on the fifth floor or higher have recycled at least one item in the past month.

Source: Scottish Government / Metadata

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