Wasted Resources

16th September 2011


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Central government ,
  • EU ,
  • Waste ,
  • Prevention & Control

Author

IEMA

Paul Suff examines recent criticism of how effective the UK is in transposing EU environmental legislation

A judicial review is to consider whether the government has correctly transposed the revised Waste Framework Directive (rWFD). Specifically, the court will decide whether Defra’s interpretation of art. 11 – promoting high-quality recycling by 2015 through separate collections – is poor and will result in inferior materials arriving at recycling facilities.

The Campaign for Real Recycling (CRR), the group of UK reprocessors that sought permission for the review, certainly thinks the government has a case to answer. It believes that the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011, which transpose the rWFD in those two countries and came into force on 29 March, are deficient and will lead to valuable resources being wasted. It says the government should embrace not just the letter of the Directive, but the spirit of it as well.

Whether or not the High Court will side with the CRR remains to be seen, but a new report from the UK Environmental Law Association suggests that the government’s transposition of EU legislation is frequently flawed.

Although the findings are only preliminary (a final report is scheduled for February), they highlight several problems, notably that piecemeal transposition can create a patchwork of legislation that too often is overly complex and lacks transparency.

It cites the Water and Waste Framework Directives as examples of this, with both having been implemented via an array of different UK primary statutes, statutory instruments, ministerial directions, government and regulator policy documents and regulatory position statements.

Such a hotchpotch of legislation and guidance is confusing and incomprehensible for lawyers, let alone the businesses and environmental professionals that must make sense of it in their everyday activities.

The government’s Red Tape Challenge provides an opportunity to create a more coherent and transparent legal regime. But that will only happen if the focus is on streamlining existing environmental regulation and improving how the government transposes EU laws, rather than on ditching laws essential for the protection of the environment.


Do you agree? Why not start a discussion in the IEMA LinkedIn Group and have your say?

Subscribe

Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.


Transform articles

Fifth of UK food firms unprepared for deforestation regulation

One in five UK food businesses are not prepared for EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) coming into force in December, a new survey has uncovered.

16th May 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Dr Julie Riggs issues a call to arms to tackle a modern-day human tragedy

15th March 2024

Read more

The UK’s new biodiversity net gain (BNG) requirements could create 15,000 hectares of woodlands, heath, grasslands, and wetlands and absorb 650,000 tonnes of carbon each year.

13th March 2024

Read more

Campaign group Wild Justice has accused the UK government of trying to relax pollution rules for housebuilders “through the backdoor”.

14th February 2024

Read more

Digital tracking, packaging data delays and new collections provide a waste focus for this edition’s environmental round-up by legislation expert Neil Howe

28th November 2023

Read more

Environmental crimes could result in prison sentences of up to 10 years and company fines of 5% of turnover under a proposed EU law agreed by the European parliament and council.

21st November 2023

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close