A new report from Bristol based consultancy firm Eunomia has predicted that the UK’s rush to build incinerators will result in over capacity that will undermine recycling . The report points to a stagnation, or even reduction, in recycling rates if the UK both presses ahead with plans to build further incinerators and abandons EU recycling targets post-Brexit.
Commenting on the report, Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, said:
“Greens have long argued that the rush to incinerate our residual waste will undermine recycling rates. This report confirms that and worryingly paints a picture of a future where we could actually be encouraged to recycle less in order to provide enough material to feed these giant fires.
“There must be an immediate halt to building any further incinerators in the UK and an urgent review of our waste strategy. As well as curtailing incineration, we must also ensure there isn’t a bonfire of EU waste and recycling legislation and targets post-Brexit; we must instead retain or improve EU ambitions on waste and recycling.”
Dr Scott Cato, who is an economist, has issued a challenge to Environment Secretary, Michael Gove:
“I challenge Michael Gove to commit the UK to a circular economy; one in which products stay in use for longer, and at the end of their life are reused, repaired, re-manufactured, upgraded, or recycled. This is the path the EU is working towards .”
“Incineration is a process that reflects our linear economy, which is based on extraction, production and disposal. This is shamefully wasteful of resources and energy. An energy and resource efficient circular economy is not only beneficial for the environment but will provide enormous economic development opportunities, especially for small and medium sized businesses, and create thousands of new jobs.”