The UK's aim to raise recycling rates may be scuppered by an increase in incinerator-building, research and consultancy firm Eunomia has claimed.
The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, also has plans to achieve a 'green Brexit', which, Eunomia's report claims, could be placed in jeopardy by the building of incinerators, which require waste as fuel.
The incinerators are used for the burning of 'residual waste', in other words, what is left over after the recycling process. Though more incinerators are being built, the amount of residual waste has decreased as recycling rates rise.
Dominic Hogg, a spokesperson for Eunomia, said: "The most significant changes in recent years have been the switch from landfilling of waste to incinerating it. This reflects a complete absence of ambition, and gives rise to costs that are not justified by the benefits."
He added: "Are we leaving the EU so that we can regain the tag of ‘the dirty man of Europe?'"
Recycling rates have been rather muddled in recent years, with many households confused by what they can and cannot recycle. This confusion has been compounded by the fact that recycling rules vary from region to region.
A spokesperson for Defra said: "We have made great progress in boosting recycling rates...We recognise the need for a mix of infrastructure and this will form part of a renewed strategy on waste and resources that looks ahead to opportunities outside the EU."
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