Defra has announced Thérèse Coffey is launching a new scheme called “Simpler Recycling”, formerly known as “Consistency in Recycling”.
At a press conference yesterday (20 September), the Prime Minister announced he had scrapped proposals he says would “force” British people to have “seven different bins” in their homes.
Shortly after the press conference finished, Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) emailed out the announcement, which it said would be outlined shortly.
Defra says Simpler Recycling scraps the “top-down” approach and ensures a requirement to recycle with seven bins will not happen.
Reacting to the PM’s press conference, CIWM described the PM’s announcement that he is scrapping proposals for households to have seven different bins as “confusing” as this was never a proposal brought forward by the Government.
Lee Marshall, CIWM Policy & External Affairs Director, commented: “It is probably a first to have a Prime Minister scrap a policy that hasn’t been implemented and was never proposed in the first place.
We have since received confirmation from Defra that the policy is still progressing but is now badged as ‘Simpler Recycling’.
“We have since received confirmation from Defra that the policy is still progressing but is now badged as ‘Simpler Recycling’, a name change that is not needed and has the potential to cause further confusion.”
Defra’s statement also said the new scheme means materials won’t need to be separated at home, seemingly backing a commingled recycling approach. The email reads that “whilst it was never the case that seven bins would be needed by households, this new plan ensures it”.
“The nation will recycle the same materials across England, creating a stream of materials for manufacturers to recycle and use again and again,” Defra said.
Marshall continued: “We have gone through two detailed and lengthy consultations and CIWM members have sat on numerous working groups to help Defra ensure these policy reforms were informed, insight-led and evidence-based.
“It feels as if this valuable knowledge has been ridden roughshod over by No.10 and we very much hope this is not the case. Now more than ever the sector can support Government in delivering these vital resource and waste policy reforms and our insights should be valued.”
Targets without credible delivery plans amount to little more than empty promises.
Chief Executive Officer for SUEZ recycling and recovery UK John Scanlon described the PM’s announcement as “scaremongering” and said reforms to recycling collections are about simplifying recycling.
Reacting to the PM’s press conference, Scanlon said: “Targets without credible delivery plans amount to little more than empty promises, and yet we find ourselves with longstanding targets for recycling, reducing waste and a deadline looming to get biodegradable waste out of landfill, and still no clear roadmap for meeting these targets.
“We need policy certainty to commit investment in the infrastructure and services that are essential to meeting environmental targets. I hope that the only thing to be consigned to the scrap heap yesterday was the fabled seven different bin proposal and we can now get on with the urgent business of reforming the UK’s waste and resources sector – a resource efficient economy is a resilient and thriving economy.”