‘At long last the government appears to be getting serious about tackling England’s vast mountains of waste’
Businesses in England may be forced to foot the bill for recycling or disposing their packaging waste under a landmark government strategy.
Currently taxpayers by way of local councils must pay the £1bn it costs to process this rubbish, with supermarkets and big corporations only contributing around 10 per cent of the money required.
Under the latest plan, those responsible for the waste will be legally obliged to pay for its disposal, and industry will have to pay higher fees if their products are difficult to reuse or recycle.
The government claims this tactic will encourage more sustainable design, and raise crucial funds to support local recycling efforts.
These plans, set to come into force in 2023, will be subject to consultation in the new year.
The move marks the first update to the government’s waste strategy for over a decade, and comes at a time when the nation’s waste management faces heavy criticism.
Recycling rates across England have flatlined for the past five years amid growing concerns about plastic pollution and the environmental impact of food waste and recyclables shipped overseas.
Other measures in the new strategy include weekly food waste collections for every home and clearer packaging labels to give people a better idea of what can be recycled.
Launching the strategy at a recycling centre in London, environment secretary Michael Gove said: “Together we can move away from being a ‘throw-away’ society, to one that looks at waste as a valuable resource.