WASHINGTON-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.

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.

Municipal solid waste is rubbish that’s collected by local authorities from residential, institutional and commercial sources.

While the world produces 2.1bn tonnes of this rubbish every year, only 16% is recycled while 46% is disposed of unsustainably.

In the analysis, China and India make up over 36% of the global population and account for 27% of the waste.

US citizens produce 773kg per head of population, roughly 12% of the global total. Their output is three times that of their Chinese counterparts and seven times more than people living in Ethiopia.

Other European countries, including the Netherlands, Switzerland, France and Germany, feature on the list. The UK ranks 14th in the waste index generating 482kg of household waste per person every year.

The US is the only developed nation with waste generation that outstrips its ability to recycle.