ISB CEO calls on government to take ‘meaningful action’

ISB Global CEO, Chris Williams, has said political parties “do not go far enough” in dealing with the UK’s waste problem.

With the general election taking place tomorrow, Williams has urged the new government, whoever it may be, to take “meaningful action”, encouraging more reuse and recycling as part of the drive to establish a low-waste circular economy.

Williams said: “The UK’s main political parties in their manifestos all commit in various degrees to cutting emissions by reducing the UK’s use of fossil fuels and increasing its use of renewables. But we cannot say the same when it comes to reducing the amount of waste the UK currently sends to landfill. This oversight is counter-productive, since landfill sites are a source of greenhouse gas emissions such as methane, which is 80 times more harmful than CO2 and traps more heat in the atmosphere than CO2.

“Landfills also represent a public health hazard – active and disused landfills across the country have been found to leak toxic chemicals into the ground and the water table, which damage the local environment and cause health problems for people and animals living nearby.”

‘Playing catch-up’

Williams continued: “The UK is still playing catch-up with countries in Europe and elsewhere in its approach to waste management. To close the gap, national and local government authorities should plan and fund localised return services that enable smaller, shorter recycling loops for collecting reusable packaging for reuse. Making recycling straightforward and convenient makes it easier to educate and encourage people to change their behaviours and dispose of their waste responsibly.”

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