The Guardian reports that new EU rules which introduce “polluter pays” principles to get pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies to pay for the pollution they cause in rivers will not be adopted by the government in England, as campaigners say the country is falling behind.

Lawmakers in Europe have signed off on an update to the urban waste water treatment (UWWT) directive, which is to further tighten restrictions on pollution. More nutrients from agricultural waste and sewage will have to be removed from waterways under the new rules.

It also for the first time applies standards to micropollutants such as chemicals from pharmaceutical waste.

The update also introduces a crucial measure called “extended producer responsibility”, which means cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies will be asked to contribute to the cost of treating wastewaters if they are causing chemical pollution. The EU has specifically said it wishes to implement a “polluter pays” principle. This means costs for cleaning chemicals out of waterways will be partially covered by the responsible industry, rather than by water bills or public budgets. The new rule will require the most polluting industries to pay at least 80% of the cost for micropollutant removal.

The EU said this would “lead to cleaner rivers, lakes, groundwater and seas all around Europe”.


No Comment

Comments are closed.