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How will Brexit impact UK environmental product regulations?

8th Aug 2016

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EU product legislation is arguably the toughest in the world requiring businesses to design their products to reduce the use of harmful chemicals and minimise resource use as well as finance their recovery and recycling. Its policy objectives are long term, which offers stability to business, often in contrast to national government policy. In addition, the EU provides funding to support businesses invest in product innovations that meet and exceed its high environmental standards. Rising standards have created new markets, new business opportunities and new jobs.

The EU has undoubtedly had a huge impact on improving product safety and the health of the environment. For example, before EU legislation mandated recycling targets, the UK sent almost all its waste to landfill. Today, according to government statistics, the UK recycles over 40% of its household waste and over 70% packaging waste is recovered or recycled. The use of harmful chemicals in products has also been reduced due to RoHS and REACH legislation and consumer products are more energy-efficient due to Ecodesign legislation.

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