UK Government to support 65% recycling rate

4th April 2018 | Recycling

The Government will vote in favour boosting recycling rates as part of a package of EU measures, resources minister Therese Coffey has confirmed. The Circular Economy (CE) package, which is soon to be voted on by EU members, includes higher targets for recycling materials including plastic, paper, cardboard and glass packaging, to cut down waste going to landfill.

The package contains an agreement between the EU Commission and Parliament on a recycling target of 65%, made last December. The target originally proposed was 70%. Earlier this year the Government was accused by Labour’s environment spokesperson Sue Hayman, of attempting to “scupper” the 65% recycling target, after environmental charity Greenpeace said it has seen leaked documents which showed that UK officials had opposed the target.

Recycling Rate

However, the Government has now said that it will support the package and will also publish a resources and waste strategy this year, which would be consistent with the EU and “in some respects go beyond it.”

It said that any commitments to the package would be retained after Brexit and transferred into UK law, added that it would explore the possibility of more ambitious targets higher than those proposed by the EU, including on weight-based measures.

“I want the UK to lead the way in driving global resource efficiency and that’s why as well as backing the EU’s CE package we have committed to publishing a new resourced and waste strategy in 2018,” said resources minister Therese Coffey.” Many of its aims will be consistent with the EU package and as we leave the EU we’ll be able to explore how we go even further to help achieve our aim of leaving our environment in a better state than we inherited it.”

Jakob Rindegren, Environmental Services Association (ESA) recycling policy advisor said the organisation welcomed clarity on the Government’s level of ambition but warned that strong measures would be needed to meet targets.

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