What impact will the election result have on recycling?
As the third national vote in as many years and with Brexit looming, the ramifications of the UK’s general election will be felt far and wide – and the world of recycling is no exception.
What did the Tories want?
Going into the election, Theresa May promised to publish a 25-year ‘Environment Plan’.
The plan promised to make sure local councils were the ones to pick up rubbish from the sides of roads and to put those responsible for the mess through the justice system.
And the Tories also said they would tackle the litter curse by “supporting comprehensive rubbish collection and recycling”.
The plan was meant to come out earlier this year. But the disarray caused by the shock hung parliament has plunged it into uncertainty.
The other parties
Because she didn’t get a majority, May will now have to choose which of her policies she thinks she can get the votes for in Parliament.
For now, at least, her main support looks like it will come from the DUP. The word ‘recycling’ doesn’t appear anywhere in their general election manifesto, although last year one of their members said it was “encouraging” that household waste recycling was on the rise in Northern Ireland.
More broadly, Labour said they wanted to bolster plastic bottle deposit schemes by introducing targets, while the Liberal Democrats wanted to introduce separate food waste collections in a whopping 90% or more of homes. The Green Party, unsurprisingly, pledged a “zero waste target”.
It doesn’t look like the Tories will need the help of these parties just yet. But, as the saying goes, “a week is a long time in politics”. If May loses support in the weeks and months ahead, the recycling policies of the progressive parties could come a step closer to law.