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How green is green?

So when it comes to recycling on a per country basis, which country do you think ranks top? Germany? Denmark? Switzerland? All good choices and all do recycle more than the UK it would appear. But according to the BBC it’s Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands who rank highest. That table is a little out of date though so things might have changed since 2005.


Although there were some amusing and interesting things to note from that report, like the fact that Greece has the largest recycling plant in Europe but ironically doesn’t use it because it was damaged by a mountain of rubbish that fell on it from the landfill site next door! Have they repaired it yet? Who knows! And Italy was under investigation by the EU because of its poor recycling record and denying its citizens the same quality of life as the rest of the EU, not to mention the claims that the mafia were running the recycling business!

What is clear though, is that it is incredibly hard to measure how much each country actually recycles because each country has slightly different rules and cultures surrounding what gets recycled and how, where it gets recycled, and how strictly the rules are enforced, all of which means “what” counts as recycling can vary too! So if we’re all using slightly different yard sticks then it’s very hard to compare. The other thing of interest too is that while the Scandinavian countries are all seemingly leading the charge, there are one or two other perhaps less high-profile countries close behind like Costa Rica and Latvia.