What can be done about the UK’s missed environmental targets?

UNTHA, Recycling targets

Anyone in the waste and recycling industry would need to have been living under a rock to have missed the recent headlines which claim the UK looks set to miss key environmental targets.

Among the worrying revelations related to air quality, biodiversity, emissions and waste, comes news that because household recycling rates have plateaued at 45% for the past four years – despite a surge in performance in the early 2000s – our nation is unlikely to hit the EU’s requirements to recycle or reuse 50% of household waste by 2020.

The report – prepared by Unearthed in collaboration with the Financial Times – also touched upon the potentially detrimental impact of Brexit on the UK’s environmental regulatory framework, and unsurprisingly the effects of seismic industry changes such as China’s waste import ban.

“There is still a great deal of innovation taking place within our sector,” commented UNTHA UK’s managing director Marcus Brew. “So, while some articles admittedly make for gloomy reading, all hope is not lost.

“The environment has also never been such a hot topic among the general public, so I think we will see some real momentum gather over the next 18 months, particularly if those of us in industry remain focused on pushing for change, irrespective of what’s going on at a government level.”

Keen to hear and share the views of the whole UNTHA UK team when it comes to this topic, we have introduced a new question in our monthly employee ‘interview’ which focuses on the very subject of the UK’s recycling performance.

Every month we put a colleague in the hot seat and ask them 10 quickfire questions about some of the biggest challenges, opportunities and trends they’re witnessing in their role. And as part of our new-look 2020 Q&A, we’ve posed the challenge: Complete the sentence: There would be greater commitment to recycling in the UK if…

The first interview – with MD Marcus – will be live before the end of the month. Watch this space for his opinions, as well as suggestions from other team members as the year unfolds…

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