Prince William says he is worried about where our recycling goes as he joins litter pickers on Kuwait beach

Victoria Ward
Prince William Duke of Cambridge visits the Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Center in Kuwait City - AP

The Duke of Cambridge has expressed concern about what happens to the tons of household waste that is sent for recycling. 

The Duke joined litter pickers on a windswept beach in Kuwait as he began a four-day tour of the Middle East.

He revealed his family recycles "as much as we can" but expressed concern about what happens to their waste.

It follows a Telegraph investigation that exposed the chaos of Britain’s recycling system, with hundreds of thousands of tons of waste being redirected to landfill or incinerators.

The Duke spoke to volunteers at the Jahra nature reserve near Kuwait City, asking: "Where does your recycling go? Out of town?"

He added: "We recycle as much as we can at home but I worry about the chain, what happens to it? We need joined-up thinking - it's a joined-up effort."

The Duke of Cambridge looks at a bird of prey during a reception hosted by Sheikh Mohamed Abdullah in the Kuwaiti Desert Credit: PA

The Duke had walked the shore of Persian Gulf mudflats following a trail of plastic bottles, discarded packaging and carrier bags washed up at the reserve.

He stopped to chat with representatives from non-governmental organisations, environmental volunteers and members of other groups who are following the global movement and tackling the issue.

He told the group there needed to be a worldwide litter-picking day, adding: "A lot of people lead busy lives, we have a quick, fast-paced life, but we need to be more conscious about it in the future.

"We all need to shift our mindset and you guys are part of the solution."

As a child, the Duke was taken litter picking with his father, the Prince of Wales, a passionate advocate for recycling.

He revealed last year that both he and Prince Harry were taken out in the Norfolk countryside "with our spikes, stabbing the rubbish into black plastic bags" during school holidays.

In 2014, the Duchess of Cambridge told a schoolgirl in Canberra that she and the Duke were both “fanatic” about recycling.

She said they encouraged friends who visit their apartment at Kensington Palace to put their rubbish in the right bin - and pointedly move it if they end up using the wrong one.

Despite residents sorting their household waste into separate bins, up to half of “recyclable” material is not being recycled in some areas of England, government data shows.

The Telegraph has launched a Zero Waste campaign calling on the Government, local councils and private companies to do more to boost the country’s lacklustre recycling rates.