A more consistent waste management system is needed to improve Britain’s recycling rates.
That’s according to a new report from the Green Alliance Circular Economy Task Force (CETF), which suggests leaving the EU will give Britain an opportunity to set up a more cohesive, fair and effective set of policies for dealing with rubbish.
It suggests the current system has half-heartedly adopted EU laws, resulting in a patchwork of rules that doesn’t really work.
Data from experts at the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) suggests if all local authorities collected the same set of materials in a way that maximised their quality, recycling rates would rise 7% while costs would fall by 2%.
The report suggests councils that do this should have some of their costs covered by the companies that create the packaging – responsible firms using less or greener materials should pay lower ‘producer responsibility fees’, while companies that don’t make the effort should pay more.
It also recommends councils should be able to charge householders who don’t recycle properly.
Belgium is a good example of the effects such a system could bring, the report states. The nation has an extremely consistent approach to managing waste packaging and as a result sees costs of 25% less per person than the UK.
A new ‘Zero Waste to Landfill” certification rewards companies for avoiding landfill use.