Just days before the release of a new English waste strategy, the Environment Agency has issued a statement that “recycling does not really contribute much to tackling climate change”.
The statement came from its chief executive, Barbara Young, who also challenged people who say that recycling is their main contribution to tackling climate change to “further raise the stakes”.
“People want to care for the planet, but recycling does not really contribute much to tackling climate change. ”
– Barbara Young, Environment Agency
It appeared to contradict research from WRAP that suggests UK recycling has a similar impact in fighting climate change to taking 3.5 million cars off the road.
Baroness Young was commenting on the results of an Agency/MORI poll said to be the nation’s biggest survey on climate change. It found that 41% of people have altered their behaviour to reduce their carbon footprint, while 23% of these said recycling was their primary means of doing so.
Baroness Young said: “That’s a signal that people want to care for the planet, but recycling does not really contribute much to tackling climate change.”
She suggested householders adopt a range of “equally simple measures” including drying your washing outdoors and making sure appliances are not left on stand-by. The chief executive added: “Many people might already be taking these actions alongside recycling, but if you’re not, now is the time to start.”
Baroness Young voiced her opinion ahead of the revised England Waste Strategy now expected to be published next week, which has been delayed by six months to fit in with the government’s climate change policies. More ..