More detail has emerged of what would be in the Zero Waste Britain Bill that has been proposed by the Liberal Democrats.
Leading a debate in the House of Lords on the natural environment, Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville revealed that banning the incineration of recyclable material would be party policy.
The Liberal Democrats also plan to facilitate waste minimisation and argue for faster development of European Union sustainable design and production standards.
It will also scrap the exemptions for SMEs and paper bags under the carrier bag charge due to be introduced later in the year.
Last September, the party announced five new laws on the environment that will be in its general election manifesto including the Zero Waste Britain Bill.
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Baroness Bakewell reiterated the idea of a “Stern Report” on resource use that was announced at the time, binding targets on developing a circular economy and a ban on landfilling biodegradable waste by 2020.
In her speech in the House of Lords, she said: “The country must move towards becoming a zero waste Britain. It is essential to reuse all our scarce resources and create a circular economy.
“It is not just enough to talk about this: we need to set binding targets, with a clear action plan to reduce waste and end landfill. Our island must not be allowed to sink under the weight of the rubbish we produce…
“…We will commission a Stern report on reducing the UK’s consumption of natural resources in order to facilitate the circular economy, facilitating waste minimisation and ensuring that only non-recyclable waste is incinerated.
“We will also argue for faster development of EU sustainable design and production standards. Coupled with this, the banning of biodegradable waste from landfill by 2020 will be key.
“As the House already knows, we will bring in the 5p plastic bag charge announced in this Parliament. Consumers will pay for each new single-use plastic carrier bag they use at the point of sale. After administrative costs have been met, the supermarkets will donate the remaining money to charity.
“We will scrap the exemptions, such as for SMEs and paper, associated with this ban.”