Gove urged to tackle decline in recycling rates
20th June 2017 | Commercial Energy
Newly appointed Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove, has been urged to take “urgent action” to reverse the decline in England’s recycling rates.
A letter written to Mr Gove by the Trade Association Group (TAG) of the resources and waste management industry, sets out three action it believes should be taken to improve resource use and provide jobs for the economy. It says it believes improvements in resource efficiency should be a “central theme” in the Government’s industrial and environmental policies and strategies, specifically referencing Defra’s postponed 25 Year Environmental Plan, the UK Industrial Strategy and the National Infrastructure Assessment.
Among steps called for, it says the government should set out a long-term policy framework to provide security in the sector, build upon legislation implemented by the EU and to tackle the “escalating” levels of waste crime.
TAG is an umbrella body comprising the main organisation in the UK’s waste and resource management sector. These include ADBA, CIWM, ESA, Resource Association, REA, ICA, WRA.
The full letter is below:
Dear Secretary of State
On behalf of the Trade Association Group of the resources and waste management industry, we are writing to congratulate you on your recent appointment as Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, and to seek an early meeting with you to discuss the future direction of policy in this important area.
The signatories to this letter represent key organisations working to improve the way waste materials are turned into useful resources, providing jobs and growth for the UK economy. Over the past few years our organisations have articulated a unified voice for the waste and resource management sector, working closely with all levels of government.
We believe that improvements in resource efficiency – the way in which materials, energy, and water are used in the UK economy – should be a central theme in the Government’s industrial and environmental policies and strategies, notably the 25 Year Environmental Plan, the UK Industrial Strategy, and the National Infrastructure Assessment.
To this end, we would like to see the incoming government take the following steps:
Set out a long term policy framework for waste and resource management, building on the foundations previously laid by European Union waste and resource legislation, so that the industry has the confidence to invest in the infrastructure urgently needed to maximise the recovery of valuable materials, energy and nutrients from waste.
Take urgent action to reverse the decline in recycling rates. More needs to be done to prevent food waste, to increase separate collections of food waste from homes and businesses when it can’t be prevented, and to increase the demand for secondary raw materials.
Tackle the escalating levels of waste crime, which costs the UK economy over £600 million a year, blights local communities and the environment, and undermines legitimate businesses. The latest ESA-led report on this subject, “Rethinking Waste Crime”, contains a number of important recommendations on how to tackle the problem, in particular by making it harder for criminals to enter the industry. These measures need to be implemented as a matter of urgency.
We look forward to working with you and your Ministerial team at Defra on these pressing priorities, and to meeting you in the near future.
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