The initial reaction to the launch by the Welsh Government of its White Paper, Towards the Sustainable Management of Wales’ Natural Resources, and consultation on proposals for an Environment Bill, has been one of praise for its “bold measures”.
The Resource Association warmly welcomed the Paper and said that it will be contributing fully to the consultation process.
Chief Executive Ray Georgeson said: “In proposing a range of complementary measures such as landfill and EfW bans on key materials and separation of wastes by the waste producer, the Welsh Government is proposing some bold measures and sending clear market signals to boost resource capture and recycling.”
“Provided such measures are also complemented by a strong eco-industrial strategic approach to building business that can effectively utilise high quality recovered resources we see merit in the clarity of these market signals.”
Ray Georgeson, Resource Association – “We are encouraged by the integrated nature of the approach taken in the White Paper and urge that this is maintained across eco-industrial strategy”
The Natural Resource Minister, Alun Davies (pictured), said that the draft legislation would be key in delivering long-term prosperity for Welsh communities and ensuring sustainable economic growth.
The proposals set out in the Environment Bill White Paper are set to:
- provide a modern statutory framework for the sustainable management of natural resources through a new area-based planning approach
- provide Natural Resources Wales with the right legislative tools and new statutory functions
- enable improvements in resource efficiency, for example on waste regulation, to ensure Wales’ natural resources are used to best effect
- simplify and clarify the law in a number of existing environmental regulatory regimes, such as the management of shellfisheries and marine licensing.
The Minister said any legislation would be practical and proportionate while maximising opportunities to support jobs and growth. He also said the Environment Bill would set out a framework to prioritise natural resource opportunities and ensure we have the evidence to better inform sustainable economic development.
Georgeson added: “The Minister for Natural Resources and Food makes it clear in his Foreword that he sees the need for a ‘modern legislative framework that recognises that our water, land and air are all interlinked and our economy, society and environment are all inter-dependent.’ We are encouraged by the integrated nature of the approach taken in the White Paper and urge that this is maintained across eco-industrial strategy.
“Continued support for programmes such as the WRAP Cymru ARID Recycled Content Fund and business support for manufacturers and reprocessors will be an essential ingredient alongside these proposed legislative drivers.”
“This is an important policy development and we will be consulting our members fully on the detail of the Environment White Paper including holding meetings in Wales during the consultation period.”
“The White Paper gives a clear steer that Welsh Government views separation at source to be the best way of delivering high quality, high value recyclates,” says CIWM chief executive Steve Lee. “The proposals ensure that responsibility sits with both producers and collectors, and the plan to introduce EfW and landfill bans will also provide a bottom up driver.
“In going beyond the requirements of the Waste Framework Directive and extending the specified materials that might be subject to separate collection, Wales is setting itself a challenging task. It is essential that the government has a strong evidence base to underpin its decisions and assess the financial impact on businesses and councils. However, it is encouraging to see leadership and vision on resource efficiency as an essential underpinning element in creating a greener economy.”
The Environment Bill White Paper consultation will run until 15 January 2014. You can access the full White Paper here