UK: REA comments on the EU’s Circular Economy Package
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) highlights three things that could drive the country’s green growth.
A recent European Commission leak suggests that member states will need to introduce the mandatory separate collection of food waste. The REA has long been an advocate for the growth of the green economy, and has released its top three policies that it would like to see in this package that would support the UK’s green growth:
- Introduce mandatory separate food waste collection within three years. This would help develop the composting and anaerobic digestion (AD) industries, which would improve UK soil quality, reduce emissions, and produce green gas.
- Introduce more clear guidelines around the incineration of food waste. Clear regulation is needed to promote healthy AD and waste-to-energy industries.
- Improve the quality of inputs to composing and AD sites through improved communications to households and businesses. As the quality of the food and organic wastes improve, it will be easier to produce green gas.
The REA also expressed concern that while there is a growing biogas industry in Europe which responsibly recycles organic wastes, the present UK government has proposed cutting or making changes to several key policies that could be detrimental to the industry, including the Feed-in Tariffs. It is also concerned that the UK has not demonstrated the same forward thinking, joined-up view of waste management that the EU and many member states have shown.
The REA has recently commissioned a report with the largest national food waste collector and member company Olleco from the analysts at Eunomia Research & Consulting to examine the business and environmental case for the separate collection of biowaste. This independent report will look at how much money can be saved by Local Authorities by diverting biowaste (such as discarded food and other organic wastes) away from landfill. Councils may then pay much lower fees for disposing of the product at composting or anaerobic digestion sites. The money saved by Local Authorities could then be used to develop other green programmes, or to reduce taxes.
The report could lay the foundation for a bill to be introduced in the House of Commons on the issue in the future.