The latest Defra figures claim that UK businesses and households produced 2.26 million tonnes of plastics packaging waste in 2015.

But research from waste consultancy Eunomia today (6 March) finds that this number reflects the amount of plastic packaging placed on the market by producers, and that the real amount is much higher – around 3.5 million tonnes.

The real recycling rate in 2015 was not 39 per cenmt as claimed in official data, says Eunomia, but somewhere between 23-29 per cent. As such, the UK may have failed to meet its EU plastic packaging recycling targets in each year from 2008-12.