Legislative Approach Taken To Control Solid Waste in the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU)
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Solid Waste Management
Solid Waste is considered as the fundamental part of the urban environment and planning of infrastructure because it helps in making sure that healthy and safe environment is provided to the individuals. Moreover, it is important for the countries to implement effective solid waste management legislative approach because it is the means of ensuring sustainable economic growth. It is noticed that solid waste disposal has been the significant issue in many of the countries due to the less efficient laws and legislative approaches. Solid waste management is known as the process of handling the waste material from the source of their generation passing through the recovery methods and reaching the point of disposal. McDougall et al (2008) determined solid waste management as the process of gathering, treating, and disposing of the solid material that has been categorised as waste because of their purpose has been served and they are not useful. However, proper disposal of these waste materials is important because improper disposal could lead to unsanitary conditions. Moreover, due to these conditions, pollution within the environment increases as the issue which further spreads diseases and other significant problems. Therefore, in order to deal with this, many of the countries have introduced their own solid waste management legislatives so that environmental health and safety is ensured (Laner, et al., 2012).
Comparison of Legislative Approaches of UK and EU on Solid Waste Management
United Kingdom Legislative Approach on Solid Waste Management
It is noted that unlike other parts of the ecological law, the formulation of law-making controls over the supervision and discarding of solid waste in the United Kingdom are quite modern. Moreover, earlier, the waste was measured merely as an annoying stuff having no wroth that simply ensued in appealing ecological influence. However, numerous high profile events, subsequent in environmental impairment, reformed the approaches towards discarded and indicated the starter of legislation regulatory regarding the proper disposal of solid waste. It is found that the current years have realised an expansion of the range of waste regulation to cover a broader range of waste controlling activities. In addition, the waste administration, particularly in the UK, is organised by regulations that are determined by and alters, European Directions and Legislation. Additionally, regulations currently place duties on all individuals and groups that are intricate in the waste management chain, from the process of the waste to the individual accountable for its absolute dumping (Mühle & Cheeseman, 2010).
It is noticed that the perception of people regarding the waste has also changed and it is no longer seen as an annoying stuff, but rather as an unexploited important resource. Furthermore, the waste reduction, recycle and reprocessing now have a great outline and a renowned part to play in the management of waste that is gradually supported with compulsory provisions. It is found that there is an extensive range of waste management regulation with which associations must fulfil (Rich, et al., 2008).
Key Features of UK Waste Policy
There are some key features of UK waste policy that they often use in order to minimise the problem of solid waste management to some extent. Some of the key features of UK waste policy are as follows:
It is found that the UK-wide approaches on discarded are centred on a European Union idea known as the waste pyramid. Moreover, the waste structure needs anybody directing waste to consider the first hindrance, arranging for recycle and monitored by other approaches of recovery, for instance, energy reuse and, finally, disposal. In addition, anticipation, arranging for recycles and reuse must be given importance order in any waste regulation and strategy (Fischer, et al., 2011).
Diversion of Waste from the Landfill
Taking into account the waste hierarchy, a key target of government arrangement is to lessen the level of waste going to landfill and to inspire individuals to reuse more. Moreover, the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 and Landfill Allowance Scheme (Wales) force confinement on the sort and measure of waste that can be discarded in landfills in England and Wales. It is noted that Northern Ireland and Scotland additionally have comparative landfill legislations (Farrell & Jones., 2009).
The administration`s goal is to make it less demanding for individuals and associations to reuse more. However, a few measures have been placed set up to urge the overall population to consider waste as an asset and embrace a reuse and reuse culture. For instance, the Government of Wales presented a 5p charge for single use carriage bags in 2011. On the other hand, in October 2015, the UK government presented a 5p charge for single-use plastic packs gave out by substantial retailers in England. These arrangements intend to urge individuals to reuse their shopping packs, and to reduce squander and littering (Laner, et al., 2012).
European Union Legislative Approach on Solid Waste Management
The waste policy of European Union has been gone through different environmental action plans as well as a framework of legislation. It aims to minimise the negative impact of the waste on the environmental and health concern of individuals. Moreover, the main focus of EU is to create the resource and energy efficient economy which is achieved through effective solid waste management legislative approaches (Pires, et al., 2011). The European Union introduced Sixth Environment Action Programme (2002-2012) in order to deal effectively with the solid waste. With the help of this legislative approach, the EU was able to recognise the waste management and prevention, the primary objective of which was to make sure that economy faced growth. In addition to this, with the help of this approach, the EU was also able to develop long-term strategy related to waste.
The cornerstone of European Union waste policy is Waste Framework Directive which is considered as the modernised approach for solid waste management. This Directive emphasise on the prevention of waste and puts in place new targets such as recycling 50% of municipal waste. Moreover, with the help of this Directive, a five-step waste hierarchy has been introduced in which prevention is regarded as the best option. Apart from this, another legislative known as Landfill Directive which focuses on harmonising controls on the landfill of waste throughout the European Union. This directive also aims to achieve common standards for the operation, design and aftercare of landfill sites. In addition to this, the Landfill Directive also focuses on reducing the amount of methane which is the powerful greenhouse gas (Troschinetz & Mihelcic, 2009). Some of the imperative features of the Directive in relation to solid waste management are as follows:
- The amount of biodegradable municipal solid waste that is disposed of at the landfill sites must be minimised to about 35% by 2016
- The member states of the European Union are advised to rely on the landfill for about more than 80% of their municipal solid waste
- The practice of co-disposal that is integration of municipal solid waste with hazardous waste in the landfill must be banned (Mazzanti & Zoboli, 2008)
It is noticed from the above policies of the European Union and the UK that they both are quite focused to get the maximum benefit from solid waste. However, the core focus of European Union is to utilise the waste properly in order to boost the economy of that country to the greatest level. Moreover, the also use Waste Framework Directives to recycle around half of the total municipal waste. In addition the responsible authority of European Union is also very keen to reduce the landfill by imposing tax on it. They also prohibited the practice of co-disposal (Pires, et al., 2011). On the other hand, in UK the government of Wales presented a 5p charge for single-use plastics in order to minimise the usage of plastic bags to the negligible level. Additionally, with the help of this technique they can easily reduce the level of environmental pollution and provide a hygienic environment to their citizens (Farrell & Jones., 2009; Mühle & Cheeseman, 2010).
Based on the comparison, it is evaluated from the studies (Pires, et al., 2011; Giusti, 2009; Gentil, et al., 2009) that the identified legislation of UK falls in the command and control regulation category of environmental policy making. This is because this type of regulation emphasise on preventing environmental problems with the help of specifying the manner in which pollution generating processes would be managed. Moreover, the identified legislation falls in this category because it determines the methods that must be used by the concerned authorities to manage and control solid wastes. In addition to this, the legislative authorities are responsible to implement the legislations due to which is also the significant reason behind selecting command and control regulation category.
It is concluded based on the comparison and analysis that the main focus of the legislative approach of both UK and EU is to minimise the level of solid waste and to ensure economic development and growth. The main difference between the legislative approaches is that the government of the UK is involving the society extensively to control the problem of solid waste. While on the other hand, the EU is introducing different ways such as introducing bans and limitation. However, the similarity between the legislative approaches of the UK and EU is that they aim to reuse the solid waste in a reproductive manner through which negative environmental impacts can be controlled. Moreover, the legislation of the UK falls in the command and control regulation category of environmental policy making
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