UK should consider new 2025 recycling targets
21st February 2017 | Commercial Energy
According to a new report from the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC), the UK should consult on new 2025 recycling targets. This would boost investor confident in the waste sector. The paper calls for a re-think on the tonnage-base EU waste targets to include wider environmental goals, such as O2 impacts.
It studies the legislative impact of Brexit on waste and resource management. And it highlights that the UK’s waste and resource industry has been “transformed” by European Union (EU) environmental legislation. And these are based on recycling targets set by the EU.
The EIC says that benefits of EU regulation include reduced landfill rates, increased recycling numbers and the growth of the circular economy. It says that Brexit could therefore have a “significant impact” on how the nation’s resources are sustainably managed in the future.
The organisation’s executive director, Matthew Farrow, said, “The complex layers of EU waste law established over 40 years have transformed waste management and recycling in the UK, helping us get from bottom of the league to mid-table. Post-Brexit, the Government must resist making significant changes to regulations as this will undermine what has been achieved.
“But there are areas where new thinking is required. It is not clear that the UK will meet the EU 202050% recycling target and the European Commission will no longer be able to sanction the UK for not achieving it.
“While the EU is considering a one-size-fits-all target for the remaining EU countries for 2030, the UK should consider setting a 2025 target that is ambitious but realistic in a UK context. Such a target, if set with industry and cross-party support, would provide an investment framework for the industry to drive UK progress towards a circular economy.”
Recent reports have shown that Wales and Scotland continue to succeed in improving waste strategy. England’s recycling rates have slowed significantly over the past three years, falling in 2015 for the first time in 14 years to 44.7%. And that is why new recycling targets might make sense.
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