#BREXIT. It can feel like it has made its way into every corner of our lives. Whether you're a Brexiteer or a Remainer it's hard to deny that last year's EU Referendum has had a massive impact on all of our lives. However, one thing people are often overlooking is the effect Brexit may have on waste management. What will happen to waste legislation and services such as hazardous waste management and commercial waste disposal?

Brexit; What Has Happened So Far?

After Vote Leave won with 52% of the vote, the Prime Minister David Cameron (who backed Remain) resigned. Shortly after the new Prime Minister Theresa May took over and triggered article 50, starting the process of which the United Kingdom will leave the European Union.

However, shortly after triggering article 50, there was an early general election. Whilst the Conservatives did indeed win the most seats, they did not win enough to form a majority government.

Now people are confused as to what exactly is the government's Brexit strategy. It would appear that the government would like to leave the single market, customs union as well as the European Union. So what impact would these decisions have on waste management legislation?


What Impact Will Brexit Have On Waste Management?

The short answer; we don't know. There isn't enough information available to make an accurate prediction of what the world will be like in approximately two years time when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.Will the deadline be extended? Will there be an “exit bill"? There are many questions that remain unanswered.

However we can hypothesise some scenarios based upon different outcomes.

Firstly it is important to mention that at the moment of writing this article, the amount of information regarding the United Kingdom's stance on Brexit with regards to waste management is limited. However, we can estimate what could happen in different Brexit scenarios.

From a waste management perspective, there is a concern regarding waste legislation; as a proportion of waste regulations in the UK originate from EU Waste Directives. These directives may continue to apply in the UK depending on how the UK leaves during Brexit and what deal is made with the European Union.


Below Are 3 Different Brexit Scenarios And How They Could Affect Waste Management

1. UK U-Turn
The United Kingdom makes a U-Turn and decides not to go ahead with Brexit. This scenario would result in no major changes for the world of waste management. All EU laws, regulations and directives would continue to apply because the United Kingdom would not be leaving the EU.

2. EEA Member Or Full Single Market Access
If the UK made this decision, it is highly likely that the UK would have to apply most of the EU laws that relate to waste management. However as only EU member states can vote on EU laws, if the UK was outside of the EU, the UK would not be able to influence such legislation. More about this scenario can be found by reading an article written by Angus Evers, an expert in waste law.( The article is available on Resource.co)

3. The Clean Break (Hard Brexit)
This decision would involve the UK leaving the EU, the single market and the customs union. This would give the United Kingdom full control over its own laws, which would include waste management laws.


Possible Waste Management Options For A Hard Brexit Britain?

As the first two possible scenarios result in EU waste management law applying in the United Kingdom, the following scenarios will present possible outcomes of the UK leaving the EU with a 'hard Brexit'.


1. The UK Relaxes Waste Management Regulations
Upon leaving the EU, the UK could decide to relax regulation. This could be seen as 'removal of red tape'however some regulations, such as those that relate to hazardous waste management can be very useful. Especially because hazardous waste has the potential to harm human health or the environment. Such as asbestos which can cause pleural mesothelioma; a cancer that affects the lining of the lungs!

2. The UK Implements The Same Waste Restrictions That Currently Exist In The EU
The UK could choose to implement their own waste regulations that are to the same standard as the EU.This way, the same restrictions and safety precautions will apply; however instead of being regulated by the EU, waste will instead be regulated by the UK.

3. Waste Regulation Becomes More Strict
The UK could decide to heighten waste regulation. This could potentially see more items of waste being classified as hazardous and requiring a hazardous waste management service.

Confused About Waste Legislation? Talk To A Waste Management Expert

The future of waste legislation is unfortunately unknown; however there are steps that we can take in order to prepare for the moment when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

If you're worried about changes in waste legislation with regards to Brexit, don't worry. At Advanced Waste Solutions Ltd, we have a fantastic team who can help you understand what is legally required and also help you to prepare for changes in legislation.

Our team can provide you with advice regarding numerous different pieces of legislation that can apply to the disposal of waste. So, if you'researching for information regarding hazardous waste management, the disposal of WEEE waste (waste electronic and electrical equipment) or commercial waste disposal, our team of experts will be happy to take your call.


Interested In Professional Waste Disposal? Give Us A Call Today!

Advanced Waste Solutions Ltd is trusted by numerous professionals throughout the United Kingdom. So If you're worried about current or future legislation, or if you're searching for a professional waste solution for the waste generated by your business, give our team a call.

  • You can contact our team by telephone by calling 01202 870833, our lines are open Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm.
  • You can send your questions to us in an email, please send your email to mail@aws.uk.com.
  • You could fill out our contact form and we will respond as soon as possible.
  • Or you could follow Advanced Waste Solutions Ltd on social media.
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