The Liberal Democrats have outlined a series of pledges on waste and recycling in the Party’s General Election manifesto, including a statutory 70% recycling target and a tax on incineration.
Launched today (17 May) the manifesto echoes a number of the policies set out in the Party’s 2015 policy document (see letsrecycle.com story) – alongside a new commitment to pass a ‘Zero-Waste Act’ which would include legally binding targets on the consumption of natural resources.
Other new measures included in the manifesto include the introduction of a 5p charge for disposable coffee cups, which it claims would “build on the success” of the charge for plastic carrier bags.
Outlining other environmental policies in the manifesto, the Lib Dems have accused the Conservatives of being determined to take the UK “back to the 1980s,” when it was claimed that the UK was the ‘dirty man of Europe’.
The manifesto states: “Britain’s economy fails to make the most efficient use of natural resources. We aim to cut waste, increase recovery, reuse and recycling and move towards the so-called ‘circular economy’ in which resource use, waste and pollution are minimised and product lifetimes are extended. This will cut costs for consumers and businesses, and create new jobs and enterprises, helping to grow Britain’s economy.”
Coming a day after the Labour manifesto, which contained few specific policies relating to waste and recycling (see letsrecycle.com story) the Lib Dems’ 2017 manifesto repeats the Party’s 2015 pledge to “establish a coherent tax and regulatory framework for landfill, incineration and waste collection”.
This, it explains, would involve reinstating the landfill tax escalator and extending it to the lower rate, as well as consulting on the introduction of an incineration tax.
The Party has also promised to deliver separate food waste collections to at least 90% of homes by 2022.
It is likely that the Lib Dems’ focus on waste and recycling policies will be welcomed by businesses in the sector. The Party has some ties to the resources industry through Ray Georgeson, chair of the Resource Association, who a Lib Dem town councillor in Otley, West Yorkshire and a board member of the Green Liberal Democrats. However, Mr Georgeson is understood not to have contributed specifically to the election manifesto in 2017.
Among the wider policies outlined in the manifesto is the promise of a second referendum on EU membership, legalisation of cannabis and reinstatement of housing benefit for 18-21 year olds.
Ahead of the manifesto launch in east London later today, Tim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats said: “We want to give all our children a brighter future in a fairer Britain where people are decent to each other, with good schools and hospitals, a clean environment and an innovative economy. Not Theresa May’s cold, mean-spirited Britain.
“This election is about your choice over your future. A vote for the Liberal Democrats can change Britain’s future.”