Consider yourself warned. Britons could be fined for not recycling a staggering 70 per cent of their rubbish under controversial new plans set out by faceless Eurocrats.
In a vote in Strasbourg yesterday, 394 MEPs backed the plan, which advocates an overall EU resource efficiency target by 2030, with 197 MEPs voting against the report and 82 abstentions. Those against maintain the recycling regime will hurt family households and cripple small business owners. The UK had been trying to weaken the original plans for binding targets in favour of voluntary goals that would be less burdensome for businesses.
According to the Daily Express, families may also be given smaller dustbins to ensure they meet the target. Failure to achieve the desired cut in disposable waste could see the EU levy fines on offenders under the new plan. Last year the 28 members of the European Union were told they would be forced to recycle half of their waste by 2020.
Most countries, including Britain, are struggling to reach that figure – but yesterday’s decision means officials need to be prepared for even higher targets by the late 2020s.
Conservative MEP Julie Girling, said: “We are all for recycling, but we believe the targets should be proportionate.” The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is reviewing the plans, according to a spokesman quoted by the Express. He said:
“Reducing waste and improving resource efficiency is crucial to protecting our environment and growing our economy. We are carefully reviewing the Commission’s consultations and will be developing our response in discussion with stakeholders.”
Currently, the UK is one country that falls below existing recycling targets. According to figures released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) last year, England recycled 44.2 per cent of its household waste in 2013, just 0.1 per cent up on the year before, though Wales and Scotland are doing better.
Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: Follow @SunSimonKent or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org