The Government today published its new Resources and Waste Strategy to help ramp up recycling rates – and which includes measures in line with recommendations from the UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment.

It follows research for the National Infrastructure Commission, which highlights the strong public support for the government to drive up recycling rates and tackle plastic packaging and food waste in particular.

Launched today by Environment Secretary Michael Gove, the new Resources and Waste Strategy includes:

  • introducing a consistent set of core recyclable materials collected from all households and businesses – in line with National Infrastructure Assessment recommendation for consistent national standard for recycling to be in place by 2025; and
  • Weekly collection of food waste for households and appropriate businesses – mirroring recommendations in the National Infrastructure Assessment, to reduce the amounts going to landfill and to enable production of biogas

The new Strategy also includes proposals to ban plastic products where alternatives exist, which follows an Assessment recommendation for restrictions on the use of PVC and polystyrene in packaging.

The National Infrastructure Assessment recommendations are designed to meet key targets for recycling 65 per cent of all municipal waste, and 75 per cent of all plastics packaging, by 2030.

Research for the National Infrastructure Commission shows strong public support for action in this area – 79 per cent of those questioned would be prepared to separate their food waste, 68 per cent already sort plastic packaging for recycling, and half of those questioned said they would pay up to £30 a year more for their groceries in exchange for more recyclable packaging.

Responding to today’s Resources and Waste Strategy, a spokesperson for the National Infrastructure Commission said:

“Far too much of our waste goes to landfill or incineration, releasing harmful carbon emissions and hampering efforts to tackle climate change.

“Our research shows the strong public support there is for action to ramp up recycling, and to tackle plastics and food waste in particular.  Today’s new Waste Strategy includes welcome moves to address this, which are in line with recommendations in our National Infrastructure Assessment.

“We now want to see Ministers consult and act quickly, matching the public’s appetite for change, and increase recycling rates to support our efforts to tackle climate change.”

Notes to Editors:

The National Infrastructure Assessment’s recommendations on reducing waste and increasing recycling rates can be found here