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Why should waste be at the heart of the UK general election?

Latest News May 15, 2017 1:49 pm

With Brexit on the horizon and the general election just weeks away, we feel it’s about time the UK’s political parties recognised waste as one of their main priorities.

Uncertainty surrounds whether the UK will adopt the same principles as EU law, or if we’ll do our own thing once the country has officially left the European Union, but why should it be at the heart of the general election?

Did you know the UK produces over 100 million tonnes of waste every year and the waste industry is worth £7 billion to the UK economy? These startling facts are just two key reasons why the waste industry, and RPS, believe the industry should get a front seat in the minds of politicians.

Waste and recycling industry groups, such as the Environmental Services Association (ESA), the Resource Association and the Anaerobic Digestion Bioresources Association (ADBA), have recently outlined their key policy areas to the political parties, focusing on responsibility and the circular economy.


  • The ESA has outlined key recommendations for politicians, which include: a renewed call for an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regime, measures to encourage demand for secondary raw materials and action to tackle waste crime.

Circular Economy

According to ESA’s Executive Director, Jacob Hayler, endemic waste crime, rising costs and a policy vacuum could, “…cost local authorities and businesses up to an extra £485 million per annum,” by 2020. That’s a lot of money to lose!

We strongly believe that the industry should be a key party priority, which if invested in and nurtured, its current £7 billion value could increase significantly, not to mention the amazing impact an improved and controlled waste industry could have on the environment! Rather than identifying cost savings such as the ever present budget cuts, the waste industry has the potential to boost the UK’s economic growth as long as party leaders are willing to give it some attention.

Do you think that waste should be at the heart of the general election? Let us know by tweeting us, @RPS_Limited.

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