Lib Dems unveil 70% recycling election pledge
The Liberal Democrats would introduce a recycling target of 70% by 2030 for England if elected in the forthcoming May general election.
The pledge has been included as part of the Party’s Zero Waste Bill – promising to crack down on operators who fly tip on ‘an industrial scale’ to evade tax.
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has outlined the Party’s policies on waste
Under the proposals, part of the Lib Dems’ Five Green Laws package, organisations convicted of evading waste tax could face fines of up to £9 million of the Party is in government after May 2015.
The Lib Dems also plan to review the tax structure across landfill, incineration and collection, ensuring the ‘right economic incentives are in place’ to end dependence on landfill ‘in a generation’.
Other policies include a "Responsibility Deal” between government and business to ensure packaging for consumer products are designed for recycling, and a ‘Stern Report style’ Natural Capital Committee review on how Britain’s waste could be used as a resource.
The Lib Dems plan a ‘carrot and stick’ approach to UK waste to recover the average £500 million of revenue which is lost every year through flytipping and illegal waste sites.
Commenting on the proposed Bill, Lib Dem leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: "Commercial fly-tipping and illegal dumping of waste not only harms British wildlife and the environment, but also means the taxpayer loses out.
"Our Zero Waste Bill not only ensures a fairer society by giving companies who use illegal dumping to shirk their tax responsibilities their comeuppance; but also creates a stronger economy, turning waste on its head to make it a beneficial resource for the country.”
Significantly, the Party has also pitched a 70% recycling target for England in line with statutory objectives already in place in Scotland and Wales.
"Our five green laws take this even further. We will make Britain's waste pay - trebling fines for industrial scale fly-tipping, and establishing a ‘Stern Report’ to end the practice of needlessly sending waste to landfill.”
- Dan Rogerson
The target is similar to objectives put forward in the European Commission’s now defunct circular economy package. When those targets were discussed at a meeting of the European Environment Council in October – current Lib Dem waste minister Dan Rogerson said he was "not convinced” that the proposals would work in practice (see letsrecycle.com story).
Speaking ahead of a Defra visit to an illegal waste site in Croydon today (March 4), Mr Rogerson declared the Lib Dems would end the practice of ‘needlessly’ sending waste to landfill.
Mr Rogerson said: "Environmentalism has been at the core of our party’s DNA long before it fell in and out of fashion with other parties.
"This is why we have such a strong environmental record in government, from planting a million trees and protecting our national forests to introducing a 5p charge on throwaway plastic bags.
"Our five green laws take this even further. We will make Britain’s waste pay – trebling fines for industrial scale fly-tipping, and establishing a ‘Stern Report’ to end the practice of needlessly sending waste to landfill.”