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Break bad habits and end our 'barmy' recycling system

Calling for a single, nationwide recycling system


We are today calling the current approach of more than 150 local waste management systems 'barmy' and are demanding Government leadership that will break our bad habits and boost recycling rates.

With households across the UK recycling less than half their waste and no substantial improvement in the past five years, we want to see an overhaul of the existing recycling service that would mean every household in the country recycling the same items to allow for consistent, simple messaging.  

We believe the huge variety of different recycling schemes in operation across the country contribute to public confusion and frustration and want to see a new, nationally consistent service being introduced in its place.

The new service would be funded by contributions from those manufacturers placing products and packaging on the market, removing the need for taxpayers to pick up the bill.

Alongside this new service, we are also calling for local authorities to look seriously at incentivising the public to recycle more. In particular, we would like to see systems such as ‘Pay as You Throw’, where households who cut down on waste and recycle more are rewarded with lower bills, explored as a way of reducing waste and driving up recycling rates.

These calls for change are being made as part of our new action plan ‘Breaking Bad Habits: Moving Towards a Zero Waste Society’, which is being launched at the Labour Party Conference today.

“By the 1st of August 2018, we had already used up a full year’s worth of the earth’s resources, two days earlier than 2017. It’s clear that we need to take radical and immediate action if we are going to really change the way in which we consume, use and then reuse our precious resources.

The public has a huge role to play in helping drive this change but we need to get rid of the existing complexity and develop a simple, nationally consistent collection system combined with tangible rewards to encourage better recycling.”

-Allison Ogden-Newton, Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy


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