CIWM issues ten policy asks for the next UK government



Ahead of this summer’s general election, the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) has set out ten policies it wants the next UK government to implement.

CIWM said its review of the Resources and Waste Strategy showed it to be outdated.

The Institution said a new policy framework is urgently required to deliver circular economy and resource resilience.

CIWM reviewed the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) strategy to analyse its ongoing relevance to identify any policy gaps where it fails to support the UK’s future requirements.

The process was undertaken by a working group of CIWM members and produced a “policy blueprint” that sets out ten policies CIWM is calling on the next UK government to implement.

CIWM said the policies had been chosen to accelerate the transition to a more resource-resilient and circular economy capable of meeting future material demands and supporting the battle against climate change.

CIWM’s recommendations are split into policies it wants to be prioritised in the first two years of the new government and policies that can be developed in the following three to five years.

These policy proposals are a clear demonstration of CIWM’s commitment to leading the way and helping to deliver a major step change in our journey to a world beyond waste. 

Commenting on the policies, CIWM’s Director of Innovation and Technical Services, Lee Marshall, said: “A new government presents a great opportunity to make the UK more resource resilient.

“These policy proposals are a clear demonstration of CIWM’s commitment to leading the way and helping to deliver a major step change in our journey to a world beyond waste. 

“Whilst CIWM welcomed The Resources and Waste Strategy when it was published in 2018, progress on implementing it has been undeniably slow.

“The passing of time, together with an increased focus on climate change and the circular economy, means the context in which the waste and resources sector operates is now very different. As a result, a revised set of policies is urgently needed.”

The policies are available in full on the CIWM website and include:

Years One and Two

Policy 1: Implement the existing Resources & Waste Strategy policies 

Policy 2: Create a cross-government resource resilience task force

Policy 3: Launch a Green Skills Fund

Policy 4: Introduce targeted Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for several key product types

Policy 5: Introduce targets across the top half of the waste hierarchy (prevention, reuse, repair)

Years Three to Five

Policy 6: Develop a Circular Economy Plan with a supporting Resource Resilience Strategy

Policy 7: Price raw materials so that prices include negative environmental externalities

Policy 8: Introduce targeted economic instruments

Policy 9: Strengthen eco-design and waste prevention

Policy 10: Ensure adequate funding for Environment Agency and other regulators



After the election, CIWM said it would engage with ministers to review the ten policies and publish its full review report.

The blueprint will also form the core of its policy work going forward, CIWM said, which includes producing more detailed proposals for policymakers where appropriate.

Marshall continued: “In the short term, key elements from The Resources and Waste Strategy, such as extended producer responsibility, consistent collections and digital waste tracking, need to be prioritised.

“We must then shift our attention to the start of the pipe, prioritising resource-efficient design and embedding true producer responsibility in order to maximise the value of the materials we consume.

“As part of this process, we must also address the urgent need for green skills and create a cross-department task force to supercharge progress on resource resilience across Whitehall.”

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