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Defra consults on waste prevention programme

Defra consults on waste prevention programme

7th Aug 2013

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has launched a consultation prior to finalising its Waste Prevention Programme for England.

[Scroll down for Resource Association reaction to draft as "predictable and underwhelming"]

Open to anyone with an interest in resource efficiency, the consultation will run until September 23 2013 and will inform the final Programme which is due to be published at the end of the year.

Defra is seeking views on proposed vision, priorities, metrics and roles which could help reduce waste produced across the economy. Devolved Administrations are developing their own prevention plans, which will be published separately.

All EU member states are required under the revised Waste Framework Directive (rWFD) to publish a Waste Prevention Plan by January 2014. The launch follows a ‘Call for Evidence’ consultation period held earlier this year (March 11) for industry contributions, which aimed to determine how this target could be achieved (see letsrecycle.com story).

Organisations consulted at this time included Coca Cola Enterprises, Amazon, Community Recycling Network UK, IKEA and Biffa. It was closed on April 29 2013.

Some of the Programme’s primary aims identified by the Call for Evidence include reducing waste arisings in priority materials such as food, textiles, paper, plastics, and WEEE equipment, while protecting environment and human health against the adverse impacts of generation and management of waste.

'What we have set out in this programme will help businesses save money, help people cut back on waste and pass on items that they would otherwise throw away' - Lord de Mauley, Defra minister

The consultation also suggests “simple measures” to produce less waste, which could pay back within a year and save UK businesses £17 billion. It advocates long-term investment in reducing waste and a move towards sustainable business models with an emphasis on design and production techniques.

Resource management minister Lord de Mauley said: “Reducing waste is everyone’s responsibility. What we have set out in this programme will help businesses save money, help people cut back on waste and pass on items that they would otherwise throw away. This consultation is an opportunity to comment on our suggestions on how this can be achieved so that we can protect the environment and help boost the economy.”

Waste Management Plan consultation

Meanwhile, Defra’s Waste Management Plan for England consultation launched on July 15 has been extended by an additional month.

Originally confirmed for an August 9 deadline, a Defra spokeswoman said the consultation period for the Plan had been extended to September 9 following requests for additional time, as many interested parties are away or unavailable on holiday.

The consultation looks at how government policy can support the implementation of Waste Framework Directive objectives, while providing an overview of the current waste management infrastructure in England (see letsrecycle.com story).

The Plan itself does not contain any new policies on waste management, but is rather a culmination of findings published in the 2011 Waste Review (see letsrecycle.com story).

Related Links

Waste Prevention Programme consultation

This article was sourced from Letsrecycle.

Resource Association: Initial Response to DEFRA Draft Waste Prevention Plan - Predictable and Underwhelming

The Resource Association, the trade association for the reprocessing and recycling industries and their supply chain, today made an initial reaction to the publication for consultation by Defra of their Draft Waste Prevention Plan.

Chief Executive Ray Georgeson said: “In many conversations I have had with industry colleagues, it has felt for some time that we were always likely to be underwhelmed by the Draft Waste Prevention Plan. Predictably this has proved to be the case. It was clear from early in the process that a broader, more ambitious and holistic approach to waste prevention as a necessary part of a resource efficient, circular economy was not shared by Ministers. As a result, any consideration of how green fiscal measures, improved producer responsibility and product standards might contribute to waste prevention were quickly sidelined.”

“What we have appears to take a bare minimum approach to compliance with Article 29 of the WFD, and we share the concerns expressed by CIWM that the Government may struggle to convince the Commission that this Plan is satisfactory.”

“This of course can be rectified with a clear plan for data collection and evaluation and a set of measurable objectives and actions within the Plan.”

More broadly on the position of this consultation within the recent flurry of messages from Government, Georgeson added: “It is such a shame, as yet again we miss a great opportunity to be ambitious in our approach to waste and resources. As with other documents and messages coming out of Government such as the Waste Management Plan for England, the EU Balance of Competences review and the Defra approach to EU Recycling Targets what we see is the resistance to stretching yet realistic target setting, the ambivalence about European ambitions for and approaches to resource security, and the light touch deregulatory model all running the risk of undoing much of the progress on waste and resources in recent years. It’s not just that recycling rates are starting to flatline, we are close to a ‘Back to the Nineties’ approach to waste and resources targets and legislation – it sends all the wrong signals to those willing to invest in what is an industry for the future.”

Click here for the original article.

The Resource Association focuses on championing the value of UK reprocessing and recycling in terms of employment, resource efficiency and integrity, carbon reduction and our role in the low-carbon, green economy. It works with Governments across the UK, the European Commission, other trade associations and stakeholders with shared interests. Today we have 25 member companies and organisations representing an estimated £2.7bn contribution to UK GDP, the recovery and recycling of over 7 million tonnes annually and the employment of over 7,000 people. Further information at www.resourceassociation.com  

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