Brexit and Recycling: Left to Waste?

The debate on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union continues to wage on, with both the Remain and Vote Leave campaigns vying for the electorate’s support in the build up to June 23rd.

One of the biggest issues - particularly on the Remain campaign’s side - has been the impact that ‘Brexit’ would have on the bid to tackle climate change and the Union’s cooperation in increasing recycling rates.

Many argue that one of the EU’s greatest achievements is in fact the strides it has taken forward with regards to sustainability and confronting previously low recycling figures across the continent - brought, it could be argued, by the strict targets it sets.

By 2030, all EU member states could be facing a legally binding target of each household recycling 65% of its waste, rising from 2020’s current target of 50%. The UK’s current recycling rate stands at 45%, leading some to believe that leaving the EU would lead to a fall in the country’s recycling efforts.

However, a recent Sky News poll of companies in the sector found that very few would expect to cut jobs should Britain vote to leave.

Many on the Vote Leave side have also pointed out that most of the United Kingdom’s trade is with the European Union, which would surely encourage the country to continue to comply with EU waste management legislation, in order to avoid losing business.

Some, however, might think that predicting the effect on issues should we choose to Remain or Leave comes down merely to speculation.