United Kingdom – In the wake of the Brexit vote and the very recent UK general election, there is a clear case for undertaking ‘a root-and-branch review’ of the nation’s waste legislative framework – to the extent of assessing ‘whether recycling targets are actually the best measure of success’, argues Mat Prosser, UK managing director of major paper recycler DS Smith.
‘Simple recycling targets do not reflect the complexity of the real world,’ he states. ‘Even hitting targets doesn’t tell the true story of the choices you make and the carbon used to hit that target. What could we gain by moving to measures of success based around quality, residual waste per capita, reuse per capita, or carbon?’
He urges the new UK government to throw its weight behind two-stream collection systems for households, with paper and card as one of the streams and plastic packaging, metals, glass and cartons as the other; food would be collected separately.
This would make a ‘significant’ difference to recycling rates ‘and to the quality of recycling collected’, Prosser insists. ‘This would help the efforts to recover cleaner paper fibres from domestic recycling streams – and would also introduce a consistency of approach, which we currently lack.’