Herts. WithOut Waste (HertsWOW)

Recycling and composting not disposal


National Infrastructure Assessment

Posted by hertswow on July 10, 2018 at 3:35 AM

National Infrastructure Commission | National Infrastructure Assessment, July 2018

Quotes about renewable energy and waste reduction

"Cutting waste – that new national rules for what can and cannot be recycled be introduced, with restrictions on the hardest-to-recycle plastics, aimed at increasing rates and reducing the amount of plastics going to incinerators. This would also mean that all food waste is separated making it available to create biogas, so it can be used to heat people’s homes and potentially as a transport fuel."

“… Over the coming years, we’ll need to radically change where we get our energy from, with greater focus on renewable and low-carbon sources like wind and solar. The strides we’ve made in this field mean the UK gets nearly a third of its electricity this way, but we need to go even further. With falling renewables prices, this is an exciting opportunity. It must also lead to changes in how we heat our homes and businesses, an area where we still rely too heavily on fossil fuels.

This is essential to us meeting our legally-binding climate change targets, and so too is the need to get better at recycling our waste. We’re recommending changes that would restrict the use of PVC and polystyrene – the hardest-to-recycle plastics – in packaging. This would be backed up by a national recycling policy, so the same things are recycled regardless of where you are in the country, with a clear labelling scheme for packaging making it even easier for households and businesses to follow."


Blog: https://www.nic.org.uk/a-national-infrastructure-assessment-fit-for-the-future/

Report: https://www.nic.org.uk/publications/national-infrastructure-assessment-2018/

Chapter on 'Low cost, low carbon': https://www.nic.org.uk/assessment/national-infrastructure-assessment/low-cost-low-carbon/

Inforgraphics/text/download: https://www.nic.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/CCS001_CCS0618917350-001_NIC-NIA_Accessible.pdf#page=33


Foreword, pp.3-6:

"The recommendations set out a pathway for the UK’s economic infrastructure:


l half of the UK’s power provided by renewables by 2030

l three quarters of plastic packaging recycled by 2030



"...the recommendations will also improve our quality of life by reducing air pollution, protecting our homes from floods, and making cities better places to live. The cost of driving will fall substantially if people can switch to electric vehicles. And they will help the environment by reducing waste that ends up in our landfills, incinerators and oceans."

How has the Commission come to these conclusions? - p.7:

"The strategies have been developed considering the responses to the Commission’s consultation in Congestion, Capacity, Carbon: Priorities for national infrastructure, working closely with experts and other independent organisations, seeking diverse views across sectors and regions, asking the public for their views (via a social research programme), and through the Commission’s own internal analysis and modelling. More information and consultants’ reports can be found on the Commission’s website."

Overview - Low cost, low carbon - pp.9-10:

"In the waste sector, too, there are lower cost, lower carbon options especially for food waste and plastics. There is public support for greater recycling, but frustration with the complexity of the process.

It is cheaper to collect food waste separately and process it in anaerobic digesters, rather than send it to energy from waste plants (incinerators). Seventy nine per cent of people who do not currently use a food waste bin would be prepared to use one if it were provided by their local council. More plastics should be recycled, including by restricting the use of hard-to-recycle plastic packaging by 2025. Better packaging design, clearer labelling, fewer hard to recycle plastics, and tougher recycling targets (of 65 per cent of municipal waste and 75 per cent of plastic packaging by 2030) could all reduce residual waste and mitigate the need to build additional infrastructure."

Chapter 2 - Low cost, low carbon - pp.31-50:


England needs to do as well as Wales – a world leader – at recycling"

"Higher recycling, especially of plastics, could: - £6.2 billion from 2020 to 2050

- Avoid the need to build 20 additional incinerators

- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions"

p.34: "Reducing the waste sent to energy from waste plants (incinerators) by recycling more plastic and converting more food waste into biogas can also help reduce overall emissions."

pp.34-35: "The successful delivery of a low cost, low carbon energy and waste system requires:


- encouraging more recycling, and less waste incineration."

pp45-50: Incinerating less, recycling more

Low cost, low carbon waste is also necessary and achievable in the near term. The Commission’s remit on waste covers England only, where waste generation is expected to rise as the population grows. Energy from waste plants (incinerators) facilitated the move away from landfill, and make sense when the alternative is energy from fossil fuels. They incinerate ‘black bag’ waste and other wastes that cannot be recycled, producing electricity and providing heat where there is a source of demand nearby.

However, lower cost, lower carbon options exist for some types of waste, in particular food waste and plastics. In these areas, England should not settle for the minimum standards set out in EU legislation but should seek to be amongst the best performers, learning from the example set by Wales.



Annex D: Recommendations, pp.155-6:


The Commission recommends that government should set a target for recycling 65 per cent of municipal waste and 75 per cent of plastic packaging by 2030. Government should set individual targets for all local authorities and provide financial support for transitional costs. The government should establish:

l Separate food waste collection for households and businesses (to enable production of biogas) by 2025.

l Clear two symbol labelling (recyclable or not recyclable) across the UK by 2022.

l A consistent national standard of recycling for households and businesses by 2025.

l Restrictions on the use of hard-to-recycle plastic packaging (PVC and polystyrene) by 2025.

l Incentives to reduce packaging and for product design that is more easily recyclable by 2022.

l A common data reporting framework for businesses handling commercial and industrial waste by the end of 2019, ideally through voluntary reporting but if necessary by legislation.


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1 Comment

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