Defra failing resources test, says industry
- Business & Industry ,
- General services ,
- Retail and wholesale ,
- Waste ,
The waste sector has criticised a consultation document from Defra setting out its proposals for a waste prevention plan (WPP) for England
Industry representatives are warning that the environment department has failed to shift away from narrow waste-focused thinking to a broader vision that encompasses resource efficiency and circular economics.
"It was clear early in the process that a broader, more ambitious and holistic approach to waste prevention as a necessary part of a resource efficient, circular economy was not shared by ministers," said Ray Georgeson, chief executive at the Resource Association.
His counterpart at the Furniture Re-use Network, Greg Anderson, commented: "The content of this consultation gives the reuse sector little hope for a more holistic approach to resource management and product stewardship."
Steve Lee, chief executive at the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, was critical of what he described as a "complete absence of any concrete and measurable objectives and actions".
He said the consultation proposals contained far too little on data and the range of metrics needed to measure genuine prevention, and no innovative thinking on policy mechanisms to drive behaviour change.
However, Lord de Mauley, resource management minister at Defra, said: "What we have set out in this programme will help businesses to save money, help people cut back on waste and pass on items that they would otherwise throw away."
He said that businesses could make savings of £17 billion a year by taking simple steps to produce less waste.
The WPP for England - the devolved administrations are developing their own plans - is required under the revised Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC).
However, Georgeson and Lee agree that Defra's proposals take a "bare minimum" approach to compliance, and both warned that the government may struggle to convince the European Commission that its plan is satisfactory.
None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.
The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.
Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.
The UK government is not on track to deliver on its promise to improve the environment within a generation and is failing to stem the tide of biodiversity loss, a damning new report from MPs has revealed.
The UK's solar energy capacity must treble over the next decade for the country to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, but is only set to double under a business-as-usual scenario.
The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) has today been launched to support financial institutions and corporates in assessing and managing emerging risks and opportunities as the world looks to reverse biodiversity loss.