EU cuts waste

How can I not talk about recycling? This morning my green bin has been emptied by the Council. It was almost full of newspapers, cardboard, bottles and plastic. That’s just for one small household.
Having been a local Councillor 20 years ago, I know the UK came to this subject with great reluctance. Resistance amongst conservative views, that’s with a big C and a small c, was strong. A decade ago, and more, a wide assortment of bazaar and strange arguments were made to try and halt the introduction of separate waste collections. From people falling into bins, which has happened, to wildlife eating the plastic or setting up home in the bins.
A low starting point ensured that UK recycling rates grew faster in the first decade of the millennium than in any other country in Europe. Pressure from the EU has helped immensely to progress waste recycling. Regulations haven’t been too oppressive either. Just looking at the diversity of approaches by different UK Councils shows that a much has been left to local decision-making. Some might even say too much inconsistency has even created difficulties getting the economies of scale needed to keep costs down and recycling rates up.
There are European countries, such as Germany who already recycle more than 50% of their waste. We need the European Environment Agency to keep an eye on these performance statistics. I’m not calling for new regulations but rather the peer pressure that come from comparing the results achieved in different EU Member States. Public awareness campaigns can do a lot to shape attitudes and what we do with our waste.

2 thoughts on “EU cuts waste

  1. Morier May 3, 2016 / 6:39 pm

    Hi John,
    Good post.

    Best regards,
    Yves.

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