Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, has challenged the government to follow the EU and embrace the ‘circular economy’ post-Brexit.
The call comes following a vote in the European Parliament today on legislation related to creating an economy in which products stay in use for longer and at the end of their life, are reused, repaired, re-manufactured, upgraded, or recycled. Greens argue that creating this ‘circular economy’ will encourage new small industries, create thousands of new jobs and hugely benefit the environment. A majority of MEPs also voted for binding targets for recycling and a call on the European Commission to set up binding food waste targets.
Commenting on the vote, Molly said:
“As a Green Economist I have long argued for the need to move away from the linear economy based on extraction, production and disposal, which is wasteful of resources and energy. The time has come to move towards an energy and resource efficient circular economy, which will also provide enormous economic development opportunities, especially for SMEs.
There are many jobs to be created through waste products being either reused or recycled rather than simply dumped in landfill or burned. Combating planned obsolescence will also help consumers save money and have better quality products.
“Reduction targets for food waste and stronger recycling targets add up to a package that will be good for citizens’ health, the environment, as well as for the economy.
Molly, who is Green Party speaker on EU relations, concluded:
“We must ensure that this sort of ambition is mirrored by our own government. We must ensure that the threatened ‘bonfire of regulation’ does not undermine these economic opportunities. I challenge the government to place the circular economy at the heart of a post-Brexit economic strategy.”