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.
Posted on 6th August 2019
Written by Marc Jourdan
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