2018 promises to be a year full of developments for the recycling and waste management sector.
There a number of challenges on the horizon as well opportunities for recycling businesses through to manufacturing companies in terms of becoming a stronger part of the development of a more circular economy in Europe.
On the home front, a new waste and resource management strategy is to be published by the summer and this will set new recycling targets and give a greater focus on specific materials and products ranging from waste electrical items through to food waste.
And, the new strategy will also give local authorities a push as the UK is likely to include future higher European Union targets in its own domestic waste strategy.
The enthusiasm for promoting developments in recycling and waste management within the government and the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs is higher than has been the case for a number of years.
Partly this is because Brexit is forcing the UK to adopt a stronger domestic policy as the environment is one of the areas that the UK looks to seek agreement on with Europe.
However, another factor is that the Environment Secretary of State is Michael Gove, is seen as a much ‘harder hitter’ than some of his predecessors and so is pushing stronger environmental policies than might have been the case under another politician. This is not so much on the aspirational side, but more because if he advocates an environmental policy, he has more chance of winning support in the Cabinet.