UK Environment Bill to pave the way for waste system revamp

17.10.2019 − 

The UK’s Conservative government has introduced its long-promised “Environment Bill" with a wide range of measures in various areas including waste and resources. The proposed legislation would also establish an independent “Office for Environmental Protection”, which would assume the EU Commission’s oversight functions in the areas of environmental policy and standards. The legislation was introduced in Parliament on 15 October.

The bill gives the government the authority to implement numerous waste-related measures that were announced and put out to consultation in recent months. These include the authority to set up deposit return systems, to require producers to cover the full net cost of managing their products at end of life, and to apply charges to certain single-use items. It also grants the government the authority to set minimum requirements for waste collections, which are to include weekly separate collections for household food waste and a standardised set of recyclables collected separately.

While the bill applies only to England, many measures are designed to apply across the UK, with the consent of devolved administrations , according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). This includes those intended to boost recycling rates.

However, it is not considered clear if the Bill will indeed be adopted. In early September, prime minister Boris Johnson lost his majority in the House of Commons, and depending on developments regarding Brexit, there may be an early general election.

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