A House of Lords Committee has urged the government to provide clarity on the UK’s future waste policy.
The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee wrote a letter to Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey expressing concerns about the impact Brexit might have on waste policy and trading.
The UK currently exports millions of tonnes of waste to the EU each year – the Committee is worried leaving the Single Market could result in increased costs and barriers to trade.
It believes this could then lead to more waste being sent to non-EU markets, with lower environmental standards, as well as more waste being sent to landfill in the UK.
The Committee also thinks delays at ports because of border controls could make storage more difficult and says an increase in the illegal dumping of waste could also result.
Lord Teverson, Chairman of the Committee, said: “While it remains unclear which aspects of EU policy the UK will continue to mirror and which it will choose to diverge from, businesses are unable to make investment decisions for the years ahead or decide which markets to pursue.
“Given the real anxiety expressed by the industry over the lack of policy direction, we would urge the government to provide clarity on its vision for the UK’s future waste policy at the earliest possible opportunity.”