Action on waste crime, household recycling consistency and support for separate food waste collection have been identified as manifesto priorities for the major political parties, by waste and recycling industry groups ahead of the 8 June General Election.
Groups including the waste industry trade body the Environmental Services Association (ESA), reprocessing sector lobby group the Resource Association and the Anaerobic Digestion Bioresources Association (ADBA) have this week outlined their key policy areas to the political parties this week, ahead of next month’s ballot.
Among them, the ESA has outlined four key recommendations that it is highlighting to politicians in the build up to the election. These include a renewed call for an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regime, measures to encourage demand for secondary raw materials, and action to tackle waste crime – as set out in the organisation’s Rethinking Waste Crime report, published this week.
ESA’s executive director, Jacob Hayler, said: “Rising costs, endemic waste crime and a policy vacuum has placed immense pressure on the UK waste and resources sector in recent years. Without action, we estimate that by 2020 waste could cost local authorities and businesses up to an extra £485 million per annum.
“This is not inevitable. The next government has an opportunity to put in place a bold strategy that will help create a world leading sustainable waste and resources management sector which builds UK competitiveness. This will, in turn, help to realise the UK economy’s resource efficiency potential and raise future productivity and growth prospects.”
Also ahead of the Election, the Resource Association has published its Ten Steps towards a Circular Economy Manifesto.
In its introduction, the Association notes: “In this Manifesto, we have focused on key areas that we consider important steps for government to make in moving towards a circular economy. Given the dominant context of this General Election, our desire is to indicate actions any government could take that we believe would send clear signals about our future direction of travel.”
Among the measures outlined by the Resource Association are a commitment to undertake a comprehensive review of waste policy in England, a ban on biodegradable waste to landfill, a mandatory requirement for local authorities to reveal the end destination of waste collected from householders, as well as a ban on the collection of glass commingled with other recyclable materials.
On the organics front, the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) has called for support for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) – as well as the introduction of a mandatory requirement for separate food waste collections from households.
Commenting, ADBA chief executive Charlotte Morton, said: “The performance of local authorities and politicians on the ground can have an impact on how people vote nationally. There are levers that the Government can pull to make their job on the ground easier, and this is true when it comes to supporting the AD industry and sorting the problem of food waste collections in England.”