A recent research report has proved beyond doubt that European Union’s biggest trashing country is the United Kingdom. For years UK has been resisting and refusing to join the EU and conform to its environment, policy, economy and other norms. This perhaps explains the reason.
The study conducted by the Local Government Association (LGA), revealed that the UK dumps the highest amount of waste into landfill than any other country in the European Union. The total waste sent for landfill in 2006 was about 22.6 million tonnes.
LGA’s study covered all EU nations and it revealed that all European countries had cut down the amount of trash being sent to landfills since 2005. But UK has not changed in this regard and has continue to top the list of nations producing largest amount of trash.
According to LGA 109 square miles of land area was already lost to landfills in the UK. The report went on to warn that if the present rate of trash generation continued there would be no space for landfill in UK in the next nine years.
The study reveals that in 2004-05 UK sent the same amount of rubbish to landfill as the 18 EU lowest trashing countries put together, despite those countries having almost twice the population.
The other countries with the highest amount of household rubbish thrown into landfill are Italy at 17.6 million tonnes, Spain (14.2 million tonnnes), France (12 million tonnes), Poland (8.6 million tonnes) and Germany (7.3 million tonnes).
The LGA said radical changes in the legislation and practice of managing rubbish disposal immediately need to be put in place otherwise UK will not meet the EU Landfill Directive which says that by 2020 the amount of biodegradable municipal waste, including household rubbish, sent to landfill should be no more than 35 percent of the amount produced in 1995.
Paul Bettison, chairman of the LGA’s environment board, said:
For decades people have been used to being able to throw their rubbish away without worrying about the consequences. Those days are now over. Local people, businesses and councils all have a vital role to play to protect our countryside before it becomes buried in a mountain of rubbish.
Reacting to the report a department for environment, food and rural affairs spokesman acknowledged that the government needs to do a lot more to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill.
We still lag behind much of Europe and we cannot afford to be complacent. We need to keep raising our performance if we are to meet future challenging landfill targets.
But is this achieveable? With burgeoning populations and the earth under extreme pressure from pollution, climate change, environmental disasters it is inevitable that people sit up and take notice and then follow it up by strong action. Otherwise the earth might just become too polluted for humans to live.