By Matt McGrathEnvironment correspondent

3 July 2019

rubbish
Image captionTrucks line up at an incinerator in the US where rubbish burning is often the only option

The world produces over two billion tonnes of municipal solid waste every year, enough to fill over 800,000 Olympic sized swimming pools.

Per head of population the worst offenders are the US, as Americans produce three times the global average of waste, including plastic and food.

When it comes to recycling, America again lags behind other countries, only re-using 35% of solid waste.

Germany is the most efficient country, recycling 68% of material.

The study has been compiled by Verisk Maplecroft, a research firm that specialises in global risk,

They’ve developed two new indices, on waste generation and recycling.

They’ve used publically-available data, plus academic research to develop a global picture of how countries are coping at a time when the world is facing a mounting crisis, primarily driven by plastic.

The waste generation index shows per capita rates of municipal solid waste, plastic, food and hazardous materials.