Last week, the UK government published summaries of responses to its first consultations proposed in the Resources and Waste Strategy. The consultations generated a high level of engagement, including from IEMA which submitted its own response along with 679 other separate responses and 34 campaign responses.

Last week, the UK government published summaries ofresponses to its first consultations proposed in the Resourcesand Waste Strategy. The consultations generated a high level of engagement,includingfrom IEMA which submitted its own response along with 679 other separateresponses and 34 campaign responses. The government also set out a summary ofthe responses received for the consultation on introducing a Deposit ReturnScheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which attracted 1180 responses,excluding campaign responses.

On reforming the UK packaging producer responsibility system:

In its summary, the government has confirmed that the principlesit had set out for packaging producer responsibility received strong support andit will therefore introduce an extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemefor packaging in 2023. The introduction of the scheme will be subject to theresults of a research project commissioned by DEFRA that will consider the bestmechanism to achieve better design of packaging (a key area of concern forIEMA). On the issue of infrastructure, DEFRA confirmed that further work willbe taken forward to consider how funding will be allocated to localauthorities. This work will be taken forward over the remainder of 2019 andfurther updates on IEMA member engagement opportunities will follow in duecourse.

On introducing a deposit return scheme in England, Walesand Northern Ireland:

In its consultation response, IEMA had stressed that thefull impacts of the diversion of recyclable materials from the UK existing kerbsidewaste collection and waste treatment infrastructure system would require morerobust assessment and called for further scoping out of the alignment of the DRSand EPR schemes.

Analysing theresults of the consultation, DEFRA confirmed that 84% of response agreed withthe proposed principles of a DRS, including two thirds of local authorities whoresponded. Most respondents wanted all materials included in a DRS, with 59% ofrespondents prefering the ll-inDRS option which included containers of anysize.

DEFRA has confirmed its intention to move ahead with theDRS, stating that it will seek primary powers to implement deposit returnschemes in the Environment Bill. It will then look to hold a secondconsultation in 2020 on the regulatory framework for introducing a DRS throughsecondary legislation and, following the second consultation, it plans tointroduce the scheme from 2023.

IEMA will continue to work with government on itssubmissions related to the Resources & Waste Strategy as well as theclosely connected blueprint and keyassurances needed for an ambitious new Environment Act. Indeed, the blueprintand the key assurances, which were developed in collaboration with the BroadwayInitiative, view the bill as providing the key stepping stones for enabling allparts of society to plan, invest and collaborate (through strategies such asRWS) to substantially improve the environment on which we and futuregenerations depend.

IEMA will continue to monitor these engagement opportunitiesrelaying them to members as they arise.

In the meantime, should you wish to receive our regularnewsletter on activities connected to sustainable resource management and thecircular economy then please email [email protected]to be added to the IEMA Circular Economy network.

Further Reading:

Internal sources:

IEMAFellows Working Group Recommendations on the Resources & Waste Strategy

IEMASubmits Consultation Responses under the Resources and Waste Strategy

AssurancesNeeded to Put Sustainability at the Heart of UK Economic Model

Blueprintfor an Environment Act

External sources:

Resourcesand waste strategy for England

Consultationon reforming the UK packaging producer responsibility system - Summary ofconsultation responses and next steps

Consultationoutcome - Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers(bottles and cans)

Photo of Marc Jourdan
Marc Jourdan

Marc Jourdan is a Policy & Engagement Lead for IEMA. He leads IEMA’s work on the circular economy and social sustainability issues. He has an LLM in Environmental Law and over 9 years’ experience specialising in sustainability issues. Marc combines his legal skills with the commercial acumen he developed as a corporate lawyer to support members in both the private and the public sector on sustainability matters.