The House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee is warning urgent action will be needed from the UK Government on waste management after Brexit.
The Committee has written to Defra Minister Therese Coffey MP, urging her to provide clarity on the post-Brexit trade arrangements for waste.
It follows an evidence session with industry experts, who said if it becomes more difficult and costly to export waste, it could result in more waste being sent to landfill, illegally dumped or exported to non-EU countries with lower environmental standards.
The letter highlights 55% of all plastics the UK exports go to China but with major restrictions announced by the Chinese Government, this will place greater pressure on the waste industry.
Committee Chair Lord Teverson said: “Brexit could provide opportunities for the UK’s trade in waste but the industry needs certainty in order to be able to plan and invest. Without a clear statement on the government’s future intentions – in relation to recycling targets, regulations on product design – the industry cannot predict or prepare for future demand.”
ELN has contacted Defra for a statement.