CIWM writes to PM urging action on Packaging and Collection Reforms



The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) has written to Rishi Sunak calling for “urgent action” from the government on Packaging and Collection Reforms.

The letter signed by CIWM President Dr Anna Willetts, reads: “We are writing to urge you to push ahead with the comprehensive and forward-looking reforms on packaging extended producer responsibility (EPR) and consistent collections that your government introduced in the 2018 Resources and Waste Strategy. “

It continues that when the strategy was published there was consensus that change was needed on producer responsibility on packaging and that the ratio of 10% producer funding and 90% public sector funding had to change to improve recycling rates and move to a more resource-efficient economy.

In the letter, CIWM says the sector is “ready and willing” to introduce the reforms and that, despite delays, it is “adapting and preparing” for the changes, citing the trials on collections of plastic film as an example. However, CIWM tells the PM that only so much that can be done without the certainty that releasing plans on consistent collections and announcing the next steps in the EPR policy will provide.

The letter also covers the recent reports that pausing EPR is being considered. CIWM says to pause the policy now would cause “paralysing uncertainty” and “totally undermine” confidence in these reforms. It also says that pausing the plans would also mean pausing consistent collection as EPR is funding the policy.

These EPR and collection reforms are a catalyst to growth in skills and jobs in the green economy.

“The step change in recycling rates will be lost, the public sector will continue to bear the costs of discarded packaging and the Resources and Waste Strategy will increasingly be seen as a white elephant,” the letter reads.

The letter continues: “CIWM is at the forefront of work on green skills and future jobs. These EPR and collection reforms are a catalyst to growth in skills and jobs in the green economy and will kick start job growth that will see the sector increase to an estimated 500,000 roles in the next six years.

“By not pushing ahead with EPR this job growth will be stifled and potential investment in UK infrastructure, businesses and jobs will be at best delayed, and worst lost completely.”

“We understand the pressures facing the UK economy and households and the concerns that these reforms could impact household budgets. These reforms also create job growth, economic growth and contribute to moving towards a net zero UK.”

The letter concludes by telling the PM that CIWM has been supportive of the reforms and worked closely with Defra officials to move them forward. It continues that CIWM is here to support the government in “getting the job done”.

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