European Commissioner Janez Potočnik told the Environmental Audit Committee that the UK isn’t doing enough to prevent waste to landfill and isn’t recycling enough compared with some other member states.
Speaking via video link yesterday afternoon (11 June) the committee, which included Zac Goldsmith and Caroline Spelman, asked the Commissioner if he could summaries the aim of his resource efficiency initiatives and the role of the circular economy in this.
The committee said that it is keen to use its enquiry to promote the circular economy in the UK and is keen to align its recommendations with the “movement” that is happening within the EU and the work the Commissioner is doing.
“The UK is somewhere in between, you are not doing enough on landfill and you recycle in very low figures”
“When we started this debate about five years ago no one was talking about resource efficiency and the circular economy,” Potočnik said. “Now I am getting weekly invitations from various parts of the world where they would like to discuss these issues, so I think it is a challenge we are altogether facing.
Potočnik said that some countries within the EU are setting an example to the rest of Europe by sending less than three percent of their waste to landfill and exceeding the 70 percent recycling figure.
Despite this he said: “We politicians also need to move up a gear.”
“The UK is somewhere in between, you are not doing enough on landfill and you recycle in very low figures,” he said.
He added: “Each country in the EU should recycle as much as can possibly be recycled, so this would be around 70 percent by 2030.
“How you meet those targets, that’s your choice because we do not want to prescribe which measures work best in any member country.”
What the full enquiry session here