Liberal Democrats promise a Resource Efficiency and Zero Waste Act


In its manifesto, the Liberal Democrat Party has said it will bring forward a comprehensive waste strategy to build a thriving reuse and recycling industry.

This would culminate in it passing a Resource Efficiency and Zero Waste Act.


Like the Green Party, the Liberal Democrats have set out detail in its manifesto on how it would develop a circular economy.

This would be done through the new Resource Efficiency and Zero Waste Act that would:

  • Task the Natural Capital Committee with producing a ‘Stern report’ on resource use, identifying resources being used unsustainably and recommending legally binding targets for reducing their net consumption
  • Use regulation both nationally and in the EU to promote sustainable design where reparability, reuse and recyclability are prioritised, and to reduce packaging waste
  • Establish a coherent tax and regulatory framework for landfill, incineration and waste collection to drive continuous increases in reuse and recycling rates and ensure only non-recyclable waste is incinerated, including reinstating the Landfill Tax escalator and extending it to the lower rate and consulting on the introduction of an Incineration Tax.
  • Commission the Natural Capital Committee to investigate the potential for other resource taxes, including deposit refund schemes.
  • Establish a statutory waste recycling target of 70% in England
  • Encourage the growth of anaerobic digestion to produce biogas for heat and transport, and sustainable fertiliser, working with local authorities to extend separate food waste collections to at least 90% of homes by 2020.


The Resource Efficiency and Zero Waste Act would be one of five new green laws proposed by the Liberal Democrats. Other laws would look at nature, transport, zero-carbon and green buildings.