THE UK’s waste and recycling sector has today responded to Michael Gove’s speech at Kew Gardens setting out the UK Government’s ambition for the environment.
The Environmental Services Association (ESA), which represents the resources and waste industry, has welcomed the ambition and commitment to tackle climate change and improve our natural environment. In particular, greater producer responsibility and a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) have the potential to accelerate our transition to a circular economy, but the reforms must work together.
ESA’s Executive Director, Jacob Hayler said: “The Secretary of State has today made a bold and important commitment to making producers pay the full cost of managing the packaging they place on the market of its end of life. This is something that ESA members have long called for, and we are delighted that the Government has listened.
“As ever, the detail will be crucial to making the new packaging producer responsibility system work in practice, and we look forward to our continued collaboration with Government on this.
“A DRS has the potential to work as part of a package of measures within the Resources & Waste Strategy to capture those materials that are commonly littered or not recycled. However, we are surprised that the Secretary of State has made such a decisive conclusion on its scope when much of the detail of the new producer responsibility scheme has yet to be developed and agreed. It is important that interactions between a DRS and a new producer responsibility scheme are fully analysed to ensure that all parts of the system work together to achieve the best environmental outcomes.
“And of course all this must be underpinned by a strong Environment Bill that that sets a clear long-term direction of travel and the governance structures to hold everyone to account. We look forward to reading the full Environment Bill to ensure it does just that.”