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As the election on July 4 approaches, we examine what the major political parties are pledging for recycling, the environment and net zero. 


Labour Party 


The Labour Party’s manifesto has made minimal reference to resource and waste issues. However, they have committed to reducing waste by moving towards a circular economy. Labour plans to expand devolution to local authorities, offering multiyear funding settlements to provide greater stability and end wasteful competitive bidding. Despite these financial commitments, Labour has yet to detail specific reforms for the resource and waste sector. 

Shadow environment minister Ruth Jones has criticised Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for using recycling as a “political football” and promised to prioritise the circular economy. Labour also aims to learn from Wales’s successful recycling programs. Additionally, Labour has outlined ambitious plans to support clean energy and economic growth through a £7.3bn National Wealth Fund, which includes investments in green hydrogen, carbon capture, and renewable energy sources. 


Conservative Party 


The Conservative Party’s manifesto prominently promises to prevent the construction of new waste incinerators. They plan to revoke recent permits and halt any substantial construction that hasn’t begun, citing the impact on local communities and the potential for increased recycling rates to reduce the need for incineration. 

The Conservatives also pledge comprehensive action against organised waste crime and enhanced penalties for fly-tipping, alongside supporting a UK-wide Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drink containers, which is supported by 7 in 10 Brits according to Reloop. This policy aims to increase recycling rates while minimising impacts on businesses and consumers. However, there are concerns about whether this ban on new facilities might result in insufficient waste management infrastructure. 


Workspace Recycling Station with multiple units by Unisort


Liberal Democrats 


The Liberal Democrats have taken a strong stance against plastic waste, committing to eliminate non-recyclable, single-use plastics within three years. They aim to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, which would cut costs, reduce pollution, and create new jobs. 

Their manifesto supports a consistent Deposit Return Scheme across the UK and proposes replacing plastics with affordable alternatives by 2030.  

Additionally, the Lib Dems advocate for protecting 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030 through international treaties and propose more funding for the Environment Agency and stronger powers for the Office for Environmental Protection. 


Green Party 


The Green Party is urging action to combat the climate crisis and is advocating for 70% of the UK’s power to be generated from wind by 2030. Additionally, they are aiming to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040, a decade earlier than the target set by the UK government. 

They proposed funding climate and environmental policies through a wealth tax on the richest in society and a carbon tax on the biggest polluters to achieve their goals. 


Unisort Climate Recycling Station


Scottish National Party (SNP) 


The SNP’s stance on recycling, while not explicitly detailed in the provided information, generally aligns with progressive environmental policies.  

They have consistently supported initiatives to improve recycling rates and reduce waste. The SNP is likely to continue pushing for more localised control over waste management policies in Scotland, aiming for higher recycling standards and reduced landfill usage. 


Plaid Cymru 


Plaid Cymru’s manifesto commits to reach net-zero targets in Wales by 2035 and reversing biodiversity decline by 2030. They plan to invest in green jobs and in changing the school curriculum to equip young people with an understanding of climate challenges. 

Plaid Cymru’s manifesto has not made any direct reference to recycling, despite Wales’s high ranking in global recycling rates.  

Historically, Plaid Cymru has supported strong environmental policies, and their omission in the manifesto could be seen as a missed opportunity. However, their broader environmental goals likely include improving recycling and waste management practices across Wales. 


Unisan’s Contribution 


Empowering Workspace Recycling


No matter the election outcome, we at Unisan are committed to helping companies adapt to new regulations and improve their recycling efforts with tailored waste management solutions. 

We also provide workplace training programmes to help workplaces boost their recycling rates and comply with the newest recycling regulations. 

To explore all the ways, we could possibly help you raise awareness around recycling in workplace and meet your sustainability goals, visit our site.  


No matter what the selected party’s recycling manifestos are, we should all prioritise sustainable workplace practices and seek to enforce the most environmentally friendly strategies for the sake of our planet. 

For help promoting and increasing recycling at work, contact us today.