To recycle or not to recycle? - that is the question

The UK is opposing plans announced last December that will see every country in Europe treating nearly 65% of municipal waste by 2035.

The UK government is accused of hypocrisy, as it initially agreed to support measures to achieve 65% municipal waste recycling, but now stands in clear opposition.

There are voices suggesting that Theresa May's government's recycling policy was not pursued with the aim of improving the Island's environment, but that it wanted to win the support of the young electorate with slogans such as 'recycling plastic waste is key'.

European Union authorities had previously targeted a municipal waste recycling rate of 70% by 2030, but after consultation it was decided to lower this to 65% with a deadline of 2035. Despite this, the UK is still standing its ground and opposing the EU's recycling policy.

The behaviour of Downing Street politicians is all the more surprising given that representatives of UK environmental organisations have admitted that achieving 65% recycling could be cost-effective not only for the environment, but also for the country's budget. Indeed, they have argued that the state would save nearly £10 trillion in waste management over a decade as a result of these practices.

Our Conservative government should be judged for what it does not for what it says

- pointed out Shadow Environment Secretary Sue Hayman. - It is no surprise that the UK government is trying to sabotage recycling efforts behind the scenes.

Under the current government, recycling rates have stagnated and we are far behind in meeting national recycling levels. Environment Secretary Michael Gove needs to set out the Government's position on this without delay

- Hayman adds.

Meanwhile, Louis Edge of UK-based Greenpeace notes:

It appears that the government is openly supporting ambitious recycling plans at Westminster, while quietly opposing them in Brussels. If Secretary Gove wants to avoid accusations of hypocrisy, he must ensure that his department does not speak in bipartisan but unanimous voices.

A recent report by Defra (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), the UK Department for the Environment, raised the point that with current arrangements, the UK could achieve 55% of recycling, but to achieve higher levels of recycling, fundamental changes are needed in households and specific sectors of the economy.

Elaborated based on The Guardian

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