The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has called on the government to show strong leadership and policy support that would help drive resource efficiency and the long-term competitiveness of the UK economy.
The UK resource and waste management industry has achieved great success over the past 20 years in diverting waste from landfill into recycling and energy recovery. However, according to the ESA, the sector currently faces a number of increasingly urgent challenges: waste volumes are rising, commodity prices have slumped, the waste treatment capacity gap is widening and criminal activity is undermining the legitimate industry.
“We believe that these measures will unlock the investment needed in our industry to enable us to deliver economic growth, thousands of new jobs and a greener, cleaner Britain.”
To help the UK meet its environmental ambitions at minimum cost and develop resilience to external market pressures and drivers, there are five areas in particular that the government should focus on:
- HM Treasury should explore reforming and extending current Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes to make producers of goods and packaging responsible for the environmental damage their products cause. This should begin by funding collection schemes for recycling and recovery.
- HM Treasury could help the resource and waste management industry attract much-needed investment in new facilities through the introduction of new Green Infrastructure Investment Allowances.
- HM Treasury should consider introducing Green Public Procurement rules in favour of recycled materials to boost recycling in the UK.
- HM Treasury should provide long term certainty that landfill tax will remain at current real levels to help the industry plan and build for the future.
- HM Treasury should continue to support the Environment Agency and HMRC to tackle waste crime.
ESA’s Executive Director, Jacob Hayler, said: “We believe that these measures will unlock the investment needed in our industry to enable us to deliver economic growth, thousands of new jobs and a greener, cleaner Britain.
“We look forward to hearing what the government has in mind when the Autumn Statement is announced on 23 November.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond (pictured), will make his first set-piece speech as chancellor today (23 November) in his Autumn Statement.