Conservatives could review recycling measures

Therese Coffey has suggested that a Conservative government could review the use of ‘weight-based’ targets to measure recycling in the UK.

Minister for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Coffee spoke at the recent Greener UK coalition hosting event and hinted that the way that recycling rates are calculated would also be considered post-Brexit - a topic which dominated discussions.

With Labour’s Barry Gardiner, Liberal Democrat peer Kate Parminter and the Green Party’s Caroline Russell also present, the focus on the future of environmental law post-Brexit saw Coffey highlight how the Conservatives would seek ‘outcomes-based’ laws.

She said: “Our first priority as a government is to give stability. The whole point of the Great Repeal Bill is that we are repealing one act of parliament, the European Communities Act, we are bringing into our law the European acquis as it is today, so there will be stability from one day to the next as we leave the European Union.

“We are negotiating right now about waste and recycling and today within the directive we are still looking at what is weight based. One of my biggest surprises when I came into government is how much of our recycling is the weight of grass clippings.

“I think there is a real opportunity to think about recycling and reuse. What is counted as recycling is counted by weight and heavy weight grass clippings – especially if someone pours a hose over them before they get weighed – it is that kind of thing that we can find a new direction and think properly about a clean growth policy that maximises resource efficiency.”

Gardiner used the event to claim that the Conservatives would use Brexit as a ‘vehicle for further deregulation’ and a potential opportunity to weaken laws around the environment.

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