Business goods and services are to be targeted by the Waste and Resources Action Programme which was officially launched in London today.
Patricia Hewitt, minister for ecommerce and small businesses, told the audience for the
launch that “Wrap is about getting businesses to focus on the whole life cost for goods and
Ms Hewitt also called for Wrap to work closely with existing organisations serving small
businesses to avoid confusion.
In contrast, environment minister Michael Meacher directed most of his comments towards
local government. He said: “Wrap is one of the key mechanisms for delivering our
commitments in the waste strategy. It will make a major contribution to delivering increased
recycling , which must be at the heart of a fundamental shift in our attitudes to waste
And he warned councils which fail to achieve the set recycling rates that the government
could take over control of waste activities or prosecute the authorities.
Wrap chief executive Jennie Price explained how one of Wrap’s first priorities is to produce a
business plan for approval by its board. The business plan will be based on a three year
strategy (the period for which funding for Wrap is so far committed), and will include a
detailed workplan for 2001-2002, which will be its first full year of operation.
And, Mrs Price said that there will be a big emphasis within Wrap on procurement. “My
background is within the construction sector in recent years where contracts an procurement
are very important. That does teach you about how markets work.”
In a somewhat low key address, Vic Cocker, Wrap chair, described some of the main areas
where Wrap would work first, This would be on the production of standards, the promotion of
the buy recycled message and interactive communication.
Responding to Martin Gale of Shotton Paper, who asked whether Wrap recognised its work
was effectively part of “one of the largest extraction industries in the UK”, Mr Cocker said he
accepted the importance of the need for consistency in standards and supply of raw materials.
The launch, at the Sadler's Wells Theatre in London, also saw the announcement that Ray
Georgeson has been appointed as the first policy director for Wrap. Currently executive
director of Waste Watch, the national charity which promotes practical action on reducing,reusing and recycling waste.
Mr Georgeson had helped shape Wrap, having spent several
months on secondment with the Department of the Transport and the Regions.
He also visited Seattle in the US with other civil servants to see the achievements of the
Clean Washington Center. The work of the CWC has contributed considerably to the thinking
behind Wrap, and its former director David Dougherty is an adviser to the new organisation.
Mr Georgeson said: “Although I will miss Waste Watch very much, I am tremendously excited
at the prospect of working for Wrap, and the potential it has to make a major difference to the
way we manage waste in the UK.”