CIWM sets out 10 ‘policy asks’ for the next government

In preparation for the upcoming general election, the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) has reviewed Defra’s Resources and Waste Strategy for England. The objective was to assess its ongoing relevance and pinpoint any policy gaps hindering support for the UK’s future needs.

A working group of CIWM members carried out this examination, resulting in developing a policy blueprint consisting of ten ‘policy asks’. These recommendations aim to expedite the transition towards a more resource-resilient and circular economy. This shift will better equip the UK to meet future material demands and bolster efforts to combat climate change.

Commenting on the publication, CIWM’s Director of Innovation and Technical Services, Lee Marshall (pictured), said: “A new Government presents a great opportunity to make the UK more resource resilient. These policy proposals clearly demonstrate CIWM’s commitment to leading the way and helping to deliver a major step change in our journey to a world beyond waste.  

“Whilst CIWM welcomed ‘The Resources and Waste Strategy’ when it was published in 2018, progress on implementing it has been undeniably slow. The passing of time, together with an increased focus on climate change and the circular economy, means the context in which the waste and resources sector operates is now very different. As a result, a revised set of policies is urgently needed.

“In the short term, key elements from ‘The Resources and Waste Strategy’, such as extended producer responsibility, consistent collections and digital waste tracking, need to be prioritised. We must then shift our attention to the start of the pipe, prioritising resource-efficient design and embedding true producer responsibility to maximise the value of the materials we consume. As part of this process, we must also address the urgent need for green skills and create a cross-department task force to supercharge progress on resource resilience across Whitehall.”

CIWM’s recommendations are divided into those that should be prioritised in the new government’s first two years and those that can be developed in the following three to five years of the term.

Years One and Two
Policy 1: Implement the existing Resources & Waste Strategy policies;  
Policy 2: Create a cross-government resource resilience task force;
Policy 3: Launch a Green Skills Fund;
Policy 4: Introduce targeted Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for several key product types;
Policy 5: Introduce targets across the top half of the waste hierarchy (prevention, reuse, repair).

Years Three to Five
Policy 6: Develop a Circular Economy Plan with a supporting Resource Resilience Strategy;
Policy 7: Price raw materials so that prices include negative environmental externalities;
Policy 8: Introduce targeted economic instruments;
Policy 9: Strengthen eco-design and waste prevention;
Policy 10: Ensure adequate funding for Environment Agency and other regulators.

For full details of the individual policy proposals, please click HERE

Post-election, CIWM will engage with ministers to review the policy asks and publish its full review report. The blueprint will also form the core of CIWM’s policy work going forward. This will include the production of more detailed proposals for policymakers where appropriate.

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