RECYCLING rates in France are "disastrous", with the country under-performing compared with its European neighbours, according to a new report published by the consumer watchdog UFC-Que Choisir.
The new study found that only a quarter of waste in France gets recycled - less than half the EU average - with "deep failings" in how the system works.
France is still a long way from hitting its target of 50% recycled waste by 2020 and 70% by 2030.
UFC-Que Choisir président Alain Bazot said there was a lack of public understanding, adding: "This situation cannot be allowed to continue. There is an economic and ecological urgency."
The consumer body also says that organisations set up to handle and recycle large household waste items such as electrical goods are subject to lax requirements and are not sufficiently regulated or checked.
France's national association for waste management says the cost to local authorities of collecting rubbish amounts to €120 per person per year.