The Resource Association has welcomed the publication of the long-awaited Resources and Waste Strategy for England by Defra. In a short reaction statement, Chief Executive Ray Georgeson commented, “We welcome the new Resources and Waste Strategy as an important contribution and route map for significantly improving resource management in England. Although many key proposals remain subject to consultation, the signalling of major change is clear. If effectively implemented, many of the measures outlined hold the promise of the kickstart to the circular economy that we urgently need.
“As the all-important consultation exercises unfold in the New Year, around Extended Producer Responsibility, Deposit Return Systems, Consistent Collections and Food Waste Collection, we look forward to playing our part in facilitating informed debate and discussion on the options and potential. Together with partners INCPEN, CIWM, ESA and WRAP, we will be hosting a major conference and workshops in London on February 13th to gather colleagues from all parts of the resources supply chain to share intelligence and debate out the key issues outlined for consultation.
“We are delighted to see consultation on legislation to require separate weekly food waste collections, which we see as vital to the improvement of quality in recycling as well as vital to the driving up of recycling rates, as has happened in Wales. Together with the step-change planned for producers of packaging in terms of paying the full cost of recovering their products and a more streamlined, consistent approach to local recycling collections, we are optimistic for a more resource efficient England at long last.
“We also welcome the announcements of new funds for plastics recycling research and hope that this is just the start of a new coherent strategy and funding for recycling market development, sustaining manufacturing using recycled materials and creating a British circular economy.
“We are pleased also to note the statement that ‘packaging reform is the Government’s immediate priority’. We are heartened by this and hope that the Government can stick to this intention, focus on EPR and not allow itself to become disproportionately distracted by sub-issues such as DRS which remain contentious and complex.”