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Circular economy measures drive forward ambitious plans for waste

Plans to reduce waste and establish an ambitious long-term path for waste management and recycling across the UK have been published.

In the latest step in government efforts to tackle waste, the Circular Economy Package sets a target to recycle 65% of municipal waste by 2035 and to have no more than 10% municipal waste going to landfill by 2035.

It restricts the materials which can be landfilled or incinerated and includes a requirement that waste which is separately collected for recycling must not be incinerated or sent to landfill. This paves the way for more recyclable materials to be kept in circulation within the resources and waste system, instead of being burned or buried.

The Circular Economy Package builds on the government’s landmark Resources and Waste Strategy, which ensures we go further and faster to reduce, reuse and recycle more of our resources.

Rebecca Pow, Environment Minister, said: “We are committed to increasing our recycling rates and reducing the amount of waste that is sent to landfill to create a cleaner waste industry and reduce carbon emissions.

“Through our landmark Environment Bill we will be bringing forward a raft of measures to do just that, and this new Circular Economy Package takes us yet another step forward to transforming our waste industry.”

The Circular Economy Package, which will come into law later this year, is an important part of the Government’s existing commitment to move towards a more circular economy and reach Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The UK is already a global leader, with the Resources and Waste Strategy setting out a plan to transform the waste industry and produce a more circular economy by going further and faster to reduce, reuse and recycle more of our resources.

This includes having a consistent set of recyclable materials for collection in England, no matter which part of the country people live in; a deposit return scheme (DRS) for single-use drinks containers to increase recycling rates and tackle litter; and an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system which sees industry paying higher fees if their packaging is harder to reuse or recycle.

Legislated for through the Environment Bill, these measures will help drive up recycling levels and decrease the amount of waste being sent to landfill. The Government is also committed to introducing a new world-leading tax for businesses which produce or import plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled content. This is subject to further consultation currently taking place.

Source: Circular Online

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