UK Urged To “Engage” In Circular Economy Policy-Making At EU Level

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Resources & Waste UK (R&WUK) is urging the UK Government to proactively engage in environmental and circular economy policy-making at a European level, particularly on the Commission’s circular economy consultation, as part of its manifesto, which is published today (29 May). 

Sustainable resource and waste: priorities for the new UK government proposes action on six priority areas, where it believes the most serious challenges lie for the resources and waste sector in the short to medium term:

  1. Supporting and improving waste collection and recycling performance
  2. Improving the climate for investment in circular economy infrastructure to deliver sustainable growth and jobs
  3. Boosting domestic UK demand and markets for recycled materials
  4. Creating the right regulatory balance between hitting waste criminals hard and encouraging legitimate businesses in the industry
  5. Delivering coherent resources and waste policy across Governmental departments and between the four UK Governments
  6. Engaging positively in policy development for resources and wastes at a European level

R&WUK’s chief executive, Steve Lee, said: “The resources and waste management sector is dynamic and fast growing, and has a huge contribution to make to the UK economy both in terms of jobs and in supporting UK plc to become more resource efficient and competitive. However, if we are to truly make the transition from ‘waste’ to ‘resource management’, many of the drivers and mechanisms need to be implemented at a European level.”

Steve Lee, R&WUK – “The resources and waste management sector is dynamic and fast growing, and has a huge contribution to make to the UK economy both in terms of jobs and in supporting UK plc to become more resource efficient and competitive”

“The circular economy consultation, published yesterday [See CIWM Journal Online story], is the start of a new policy framework that will hopefully drive progress towards a more resource efficient future, with all the potential economic and environmental benefits this could bring. Regardless of the ‘Brexit’ debate, it is essential that the new UK Government develops and articulates a coherent and positive response that reflects the opinion of all four UK countries.”

R&WUK is a new a joint body created by CIWM and ESA to champion and lobby for the sector.

“The medium to long term outlook for our sector is hugely positive, but right now every part of the supply chain is facing significant challenges to some degree or another,” says ESA executive director Jacob Hayler.

“Local government funding for recycling is, and will continue to be, squeezed; UK reprocessing capacity is being buffeted by global market trends; the investment landscape for new waste infrastructure remains challenging; and the strategic planning necessary to ensure that the UK extracts the maximum material and energy value from its waste is not happening in a holistic way.

Jacob Hayler, ESA – “The medium to long term outlook for our sector is hugely positive, but right now every part of the supply chain is facing significant challenges to some degree or another”

“Failure to act on waste crime and turning our back on Europe’s role in driving resource efficiency and a more circular economic approach could also have serious longer term consequences for the UK’s resources and waste sector.”

R&WUK is not placing all the responsibility at the feet of government however; the document also proposes action by the industry on the priority areas, and a letter sent to Defra for the attention of the incoming waste and resources minister says:

“We seek a proactive and open relationship with you and your department to help deliver this sector’s full potential and to reap the benefits of a more circular materials economy. R&WUK draws together extensive knowledge and experience across a wide range of industry issues, as well an understanding of the resource and waste management needs and opportunities of our customers in all industry sectors. We are keen to put this expertise at your disposal.”

The full report CLICK HERE


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