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New Resource and Waste Strategy Published

The first change to England’s waste strategy since 2010, it represents an ambitious programme of reform which will shape the landscape for sustainability to 2030 and with some proposals looking as far ahead as 2050.

Affecting the food, manufacturing and packaging sectors as well as the waste sector, key policies include the following.

Mandatory food waste collections will be welcomed by the anaerobic digestion industry but pose challenges to some local authorities, such as disposal authorities that have committed to long-term residual waste contracts where food waste is commingled with residual waste.

Food businesses are to face annual reporting of food surplus and waste.

For producers of goods the extended producer responsibility (EPR) will apply full cost recovery to producers and will apply to a range of new waste types.

Reform of the duty of care regulation includes mandatory use of digital transfer and export documentation and a requirement for waste carriers and brokers to demonstrate tax registration.

Aligned to the EU circular economy principles, the following proposals will be consulted on in January for implementation in the next 3 years:

  • packaging waste legislation reform
  • deposit Return System
  • requirement for consistency of household waste in the materials collected for recycling
  • plastic packaging to be 30% minimum recycled content by 2022

The strategy does not include any clear proposals on changing consumer culture regarding waste and litter (for example through ‘pay as you throw’ policies), or on stimulating investment in UK reprocessing infrastructure in order to combat the UK’s reliance on export markets.

For advice on what this strategy means for you, please contact Ben Sheppard.

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