How waste disposal and recycling will be key to any Green New Deal in the UK


The environmental research community collects new data with each passing year. As it comes in, they’re able to refine both their models and predictions, providing a more accurate picture of the kind of world we can expect in the future. 

The news, on the whole, isn’t good. 

While climate change is the biggest issue, waste disposal and recycling are also areas in which the UK lags. Recent investigations on microplastics in the oceans and land ecosystems are a serious cause for concern. 

The Green New Deal In The UK

Aluminum Cans Crushed For Recycling in a Childs Hands

Waste disposal and recycling is an integral part of the Green New Deal. Those behind the concept argue that the country is in a unique position to change the way that it manages waste removal for the better, protecting jobs, the economy, ecology and local communities.

The basic idea goes something like this: the UK needs to cut down on the waste that it currently produces, but that waste isn’t worthless. Instead, it represents an untapped economic opportunity. Companies could use recycled waste products as inputs, providing low-cost, sustainable materials for their production processes. Furthermore, an entirely new recycling industry could pop up to make all this possible, creating around 70,000 jobs according to Friends of the Earth. 

Various government bodies across the UK already have waste targets in place to reduce the total amount of “stuff” going into landfill and the oceans. 

The Welsh Assembly and Scottish Executive, for instance, want 70 per cent of all waste recycled by 2025. 

Why Waste Disposal And Recycling Are Key To The Green New Deal

The Green New Deal Group puts forward a variety of reasons for why waste disposal and recycling is essential. 

Greater Material And Energy Security

Currently, the UK relies on manufacturing and energy inputs to arrive from overseas. A Green New Deal could help the country to become more self-sufficient, creating more of the resources that it needs domestically. 

Increase Energy-From-Waste Innovations

Extracting usable energy from waste is a vital component of cutting CO2 emissions below 1990s levels. Burning waste to create electricity, therefore, could provide part of the answer.

Improving The UK’s Manufacturing Base

Employment in the UK manufacturing sector has been weak over the last few decades. A Green New Deal has the potential to invigorate the industry, adding tens of thousands of high-quality jobs in some of the country’s most deprived regions. 

Improving The Balance Of Trade Deficit

The UK has run a balance of trade deficit for many years leading to increases in debt. Waste disposal companies and recycling could help reverse this. The UK could export raw materials and substitute imports with domestic goods. 

Recycle And Repurpose Materials For Use In Manufacturing

Finally, waste disposal and recycling could help the manufacturing sector get more affordable inputs. 

In summary, waste disposal and recycling will be a key pillar of the Green New Deal. Advocates of the policy argue that it will create a net benefit to both the environment and the economy, and change the way we use resources.