‘Resourcing the Future’ conference held to debate the EU referendum and how leaving could affect the industry
Debate was raging at the final meeting for the ‘Resourcing the Future’ conference held in London last week, as waste bosses discussed Britain’s future in the European Union in relation to the waste industry.
Arguing to remain in the EU, Suez UK chief executive and president of the European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services, David Palmer-Jones asked the conference attendees: “What has the EU ever done for us?”
He then mentioned a number of waste improvements, including Britain’s 44 per cent recycling rate and the creation of landfill tax revenue, which have apparently been achieved solely because of Britain’s EU membership.
Mr Palmer-Jones finished off his argument by answering his initial question: “In terms of what the EU has done for us, it’s absolutely everything.”
However, on behalf of the leave argument, Neil Grundon, deputy chairman at Grundon Waste Management, took to the stage to claim that the UK was a leading nation in environmental matters.
He said: “I really don’t think that we are going to be any less of a force in our environmental conscience and our environmental pressure on the world as an independent nation.”
Mr Grundon used Britain’s excellent health and safety in the workplace record as an example of how Britain does not need the EU to be a world leader.
Angus Evers, from the UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA), had his time to discuss legal procedures for the waste industry following a remain or leave vote, saying that a remain would be “business as usual”, but a leave would involve “massive uncertainty” which could affect investment.
To find out more about our health and safety services, please click here.