SNP ministers have been accused of a "continued failure" after new figures revealed recycling rates in Scotland have stalled in the past year.

Statistics released by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa)  show recycling rates sat at 43.3% of all waste generated in 2022, rising by just 0.3 percentage points since the previous year.

While rates have increased by almost four percentage points since 2011, they have fallen since the peak of 45.6% in 2017.

Elsewhere in the figures, the total amount of waste generated was 2,334,659 tonnes, the lowest figure since at least 2011, and a drop of 6% since the previous year.

Scotland remains way off track meeting a proposed landfill ban and meeting a target of recycling 70% of waste by 2025.

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The figures also show that, for the first time, more household waste is being sent to incineration than landfill in Scotland.

Incinerators contribute to climate change by emitting greenhouse gases from the waste they burn. They also make it more difficult to ensure potentially recyclable material is not wasted instead.

Research by Zero Waste Scotland has shown that 60% of residual waste from household bins could have been recycled.

Kim Pratt, a campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “The continued failure of the Scottish Government to improve recycling rates shows that real action is needed to tackle our waste problem.

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“The Circular Economy Bill is an opportunity to change the way we use materials in Scotland, but at the moment it’s not strong enough to make a significant impact.

“It needs to include targets to reduce our consumption.

“The Scottish Government must be bold and decisive to create the change needed to meet the threat of climate breakdown.

“Recycling is incredibly important for the planet, but moving to a circular economy means more than that.

“Strong consumption targets would mean policies to encourage producers to make products last for longer, ensure they are easy to repair, choose lower carbon materials, and to shift consumption patterns away from carbon intensive goods and services.”

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The Scottish Government introduced the Circular Economy Bill to the Scottish Parliament earlier this year.

The legislation aims to create a circular economy in Scotland, where materials are properly valued and cycled around our economy for as long as possible by reducing consumption, sharing and repairing, as well as recycling.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Reducing waste is key to our climate ambitions and it is good to see Scottish households generating the lowest levels on record.

“With the amount of waste going to landfill down by nearly half over the last 10 years, we are making good progress.

“We are determined to keep driving recycling rates up too, having already supported 19 councils to reduce waste and increase recycling rates through our £70 million Recycling Improvement Fund and we expect to see those projects deliver significant results locally in coming years.

“To improve and modernise local services, we are also delivering a Circular Economy Bill and working with local authorities and households to design new standards for household recycling services in Scotland."