12 May 2017 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Businesses could face increased waste costs on leaving the EU if 'two-tier' supply chains develop, says sustainability consultancy Ecosurety.
In the consultancy's response last month to a government consultation on the country's future industrial strategy it argued that the impact of Brexit could mean "rising costs for businesses, and that we believe that leaving the EU could result in 'two-tier' supply chains between the UK waste and recycling industry and those of Europe".
However, the report also states that the greater likelihood is that Scotland and Wales would forge different directions from England, "which again would have a detrimental impact on businesses, consumers and the environment".
There is a risk that product and resource standards in the UK could differ from European counterparts and other global markets, says Ecosurety. This could result in the potential for a two-tier system to develop in the UK.
It also points out that "to a lesser degree, but perhaps more likely, we will see waste becoming devolved in Scotland and Wales".
Ecosurety says this and/or differences between England and the devolved nations, or England and European countries, would mean increased costs for businesses.
Mark Sayers, principal consultant at Ecosurety, said: "Business thrives on continuity and economies of scale. Common supply and product requirements reduce costs for businesses and maintain a level playing field when it comes to competing against global competitors If one UK nation adheres to lower or higher standards than the others, the UK's overall resource efficiency rates could fall, and could lead to higher disposal costs."