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Key Scottish Environment Statistics 2013

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. The data are supplemented by text providing brief background information on environmental impacts, relevant legislation and performance against national and international targets.

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Waste Recycling Behaviour: 2000-2011 and Food Waste Disposal: 2012

% surveyed who reported recycling waste items in the past month11,12,13

Waste Recycling Behaviour: 2000-2011 and Food Waste Disposal: 2012

Waste prevention, minimisation and re-use are at the top of the waste hierarchy1 and recognition for this is given in Scotland's Zero Waste Plan.10 The Scottish Household Survey14 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.

In 2012, the question on recycling was changed to focus on food waste disposal15. Respondents were asked how they disposed of food waste in the previous week and were given three options, of which they could select more than one. In 2012, almost three quarters (73%) of households surveyed said that they had disposed of food waste as general waste along with other rubbish. Just over a quarter of households (26%) used a local-authority provided caddy, receptacle or bin. One-in-ten households disposed of food waste by home composting (for instance, a heap in a garden or allotment, green cone or wormery).

Source: Scottish Government / Metadata

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