More than 50,000 new recycling jobs would be created across the country if the UK set more ambitious recycling targets according to a new report launched by Friends of the Earth today [Tuesday 14 September 2010].
The green campaigning charity’s report, ‘More jobs, less waste’, shows that at least 51,400 new jobs would be created across the UK if we recycled 70 per cent of the waste collected by local councils.
At least a further 18,800 jobs could be created if we recycled commercial and industrial waste at the same rate.
But if the UK only recycles 50% of council-collected waste – the minimum required by 2020 under EU law – then we would lose out on nearly twenty-five thousand jobs.
Wales and Scotland have both recently announced that they plan to recycle 70 per cent of council-collected waste by 2025, yet Northern Ireland and England – where the vast majority of waste is generated – are still aiming to recycle only 50 per cent.
The UK Coalition Government has recently started a review of waste policy in England and as part of this Friends of the Earth is calling on the Government to set ambitious recycling targets.
Friends of the Earth’s waste campaigner Julian Kirby said:
“Recycling is a win-win for the environment and the economy – saving precious resources and creating many more jobs than expensive and outdated incinerators.
“The Government must be ambitious in setting recycling rates – better product design, as well as action to stop supermarkets and producers selling products that can’t be recycled, means that we could easily achieve upwards of 75 per cent recycling rates by 2025.
“If the Coalition is serious about creating a green, jobs-rich economy then it must unlock the wealth in our waste and help consumers to recycle as much as possible.”