As the news sinks in that the incoming administration will be Conservative-led, factions of the waste and resources sector have already set out what they want to see from the next government during its term.
Resources and Waste UK (R&WUK), the new cross-industry voice in sustainable resources and waste management, urges the incoming government to take a lead role in Europe to influence the EU’s Circular Economy thinking and action.
Created from CIWM and the ESA to form a “single voice” in the interests of championing the future of resource management, R&WUK says that this government will take us through five crucial years in developing a more resource efficient and sustainable UK economy.
“We need the policy framework to be coordinated, with departments working effectively together in this complex policy area,” it says, urging the incoming government to influence the European Commission’s decisions over the circular economy and its upcoming package.
R&WUK – “We need the policy framework to be coordinated, with departments working effectively together in this complex policy area”
“Regardless of any review of the UK position in Europe, this package will set the path for better resource management for years to come,” it says.
R&WUK says the industry is in a powerful position to offer growth in jobs and the economy as well as long-term resource security for businesses of all kinds, and it says government can do that at the same time as protecting people and the environment.
“That promise needs supportive Government, and R&WUK will be shortly be setting out what it needs from the new Government in detail,” it says.
“That needs to be matched by what the industry itself can and will do to support Government and we will not shy away from that responsibility in our call for action.”
The Environmental Services Association’s (ESA) executive director, Jacob Hayler, says the ESA looks forward to working with the next government to ensure that waste and recycling issues are “well represented on the agenda for the next Parliament.”
“The recycling industry has gone through a challenging time in the past 12 months but is well placed to provide jobs at all skills levels all around the country as we recycle more of our waste,” he says.
ESA – “The recycling industry has gone through a challenging time in the past 12 months but is well placed to provide jobs at all skills levels all around the country as we recycle more of our waste”
“A key environmental priority for the next Government should be to find a way for us to meet our 2020 household recycling targets without local authorities going bust. The industry is keen to help the Government solve this conundrum as well as other issues affecting our sector.”
Waste management company, FCC Environment has called on the next government to “foster waste industry growth”.
Kristian Dales, sales and marketing director says that despite the assertion in the Conservative manifesto that they have been “the greenest government ever”, waste policy in England has stalled, while Scotland and Wales have made more progressive commitments.
“The Conservative Government will face some tough challenges such as achieving the 50% recycling target by 2020 in light of England’s flat-lining recycling rate,” he says.
FCC Environment – “The Conservative Government will face some tough challenges such as achieving the 50% recycling target by 2020 in light of England’s flat-lining recycling rate”
“Our industry urgently needs consistent legislative and economic drivers from the Government to encourage investment in infrastructure and market growth to reverse the stagnation of recycling rates. It’s the responsibility of the waste management and resource sector to work within the framework of regulations to drive up recycling and energy recovery rates.
“A Conservative government will result in considerable repercussions for local authorities, waste collectors and processors. It is likely to lead to further public spending cuts, which could potentially impact on municipal waste collections. An EU referendum could lead to a partial or total exit for the EU and would have significant implications on the waste industry, given the EU’s influence on waste policy in the UK.
“Unfortunately, waste and resource management policies have been mostly absent from the election campaigns of the main political parties. Whilst the issue of waste may not be a vote winner, everyone needs their waste removed and the industry makes a substantial contribution to the UK’s economy.”
Ian Hetherington, director general of the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) reiterates that the Conservative Government has to play a decisive role in Europe as the European Commission redevelops its circular economy package.
BMRA – “We hope that the whole topic of waste, reuse, recycling, resource efficiency and the treatment of unrecyclable residues is debated fully in place of the fractured sub-topical monologues that have characterised recent years”
He says a comprehensive set of core policies in this arena must be implemented to provide certainty and inform industry investment decisions over the next five years.
“We hope that the whole topic of waste, reuse, recycling, resource efficiency and the treatment of unrecyclable residues is debated fully in place of the fractured sub-topical monologues that have characterised recent years,” he says.
“The recycling industry has done a great deal to further this agenda, but we do need a strong lead from the Government to ensure that the positive value of material destined for recycling is not frittered away by the over-zealous and over-complicated enforcement of regulations designed for genuine problem wastes.”
Institute of Environmental Management – “David Cameron’s commitment to ‘One Nation’ needs to be underpinned by a commitment to ‘One Planet'”
Chief policy advisor, Martin Baxter, at the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment urges the new government to put a “green and sustainable economy at the heart of its future plans, supporting new jobs and enhancing business competitiveness.”
He says investment in skills for a sustainable economy will be critical to long-term prosperity.
“David Cameron’s commitment to ‘One Nation’ needs to be underpinned by a commitment to ‘One Planet’,” he says.
“Central to this will be climate leadership – domestically in meeting carbon budgets and internationally with support for an international agreement in Paris.”