In 2021, just 42.7 per cent of household waste was recycled – a lower rate than at any point from 2014 to 2019.
The amount of household waste being recycled peaked in 2016, and has plummeted by almost 64,000 tonnes since then.
It means the Scottish Government missed its target of 60 per cent of household waste being recycled by 2020, and is still falling short of its 2013 target of 50 per cent.
Scottish Labour’s net zero spokesman Colin Smyth, who highlighted the figures, said they “lay bare the reality behind the SNP-Green government’s hollow environmental rhetoric”.
He said: “They claim to recognise the scale of the climate emergency, but missed targets and broken promises pile up around us. This humiliating failure joins the long list of pledges this government has abandoned over the years, on everything from green jobs to emissions to active travel.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We are taking dedicated action to increase recycling rates and reduce waste in our economy. Our £70 million Recycling Improvement Fund is delivering one of the biggest investments in recycling in Scotland in a generation, which will make it easier for households to recycle and increase local recycling rates.
“In August, we are introducing the UK’s first deposit return scheme for drinks containers, which will recycle billions of bottles and cans every single year. Our forthcoming Circular Economy Bill will establish the legislative framework to support Scotland’s transition to a zero waste and circular economy.
“Together, these actions will boost recycling and make an important contribution to the fight against the climate crisis.”