COP26: Decarbonising Non-Recyclable Waste | IPT
Chair: Robert Goodwill MP, Select Committee on Environmental Audit
Speaker: Jacob Hayler, Executive Director, Environmental Services Association
Speaker: Tim Rotheray, Director Director of Innovations and Regulation, Viridor
Speaker: Professor Pauline Deutz, School of Environmental Studies, University of Hull
Breakfast Meeting


Tuesday 14 September 2021


House of Commons

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Greenhouse gas emissions from the waste sector accounted for 6% of all UK emissions in 2018 and were 63% below 1990 levels. Reductions in the previous two decades have been driven by a decrease in waste being landfilled and the UK’s landfill tax. The UK currently spends £280m annually on shipping non-recyclable waste overseas and has an ambition to achieve a 65% average recycling rate by 2035, but recycling rates have plateaued in recent years. Decreased landfilling has resulted in more local authority waste being incinerated for energy rather than recycled or composted in the UK. There are currently between 50 and 60 energy from waste facilities across the UK whilst carbon capture and storage is considered a means to capture emissions produced. The Government has committed to investing in four carbon capture and storage clusters as part of the 10-point plan to tackle climate change. As the UK looks to improve recycling rates, reduce waste and transition to net zero, how can non-recyclable waste be decarbonised? 

This event will: 

  • Consider regulation and incentives that could help drive up recycling rates 
  • Explore the role of new technologies, such as carbon capture and storage, in reducing emissions 
  • Discuss how to build a collaborative cross sectoral approach.