Weak UK Plastics Targets - Outshone by EU Equivalent?
Whilst the the UK government published its intend to phase out "avoidable" plastic wastes within 25 years. This seeks to target single use plastics, which is laudable but as with most Conservative environmental policy, it is wooly and ill defined.
It is a pi$$ poor effort from Theresa May's government. Our reliance of cheap single use plastics is causing measurable suffering across the planet:
- Whales Tangled in Ropes
- Micro Plastics Contaminating Food Stocks (Even Sea Salt)
- Birds feeding their young with plastics items (That are mistaken for fish)
- Mounds of plastic film at waste dumps across developing countries.
- UK Plastics exported to Africa where child labour is used for processing.
So despite all of this a 25 year target is deemed as acceptable. When it plainly is not. One start to believe that the Tories are afraid to mention anything that is not directly linked to making money.
So step up the EU, the worlds number 1 club for enlightened nations. Who have pledged a far more stringent target of 65% re-use in 12 years, with interim targets set of 60% in just 7 years. So unlike the spineless targetless waffle proffered by the Tories, we have something to aim for at least.
Although we may soon have no say in how this EU Circular Economy is setup, we will almost certainly have abide by its rules. Unless we abandon the EU as a trading partner. The UK currently recycles 45% of waste.
To be clear the EU targets apply to all wastes, not just plastics, which are subject to further strategies based on recyclability, biodegradability and the presence of hazardous substances.
So in summary the Uk will have to recycle 15% of all wastes by 2025. We will also have to change the nature of our plastics, to meet EU regulations.
Theresa May's announcement really is just a reworded EU strategy that her government will have to follow anyway.