12 August 2019 by Will Date

Views sought on Resources Sector Deal

A group seeking to establish a ‘Sector Deal’ on resources and waste is calling for input on its proposals from businesses and organisations involved in the industry.

The UK Resources Council (UKRC) has outlined initial details of some of the work being done to establish a Sector Deal with the UK government today (12 August).

It is hoped that a Sector Deal for resources will help to channel funding into research and development for the sector

Feedback on the proposals could shape a formal submission to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) later this year.

It is hoped that agreeing a Sector Deal for Resources would provide a long-term framework for businesses handling waste, as well as in the wider economy, and build on the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy, which was published last December.

Consultation

In its consultation document, UKRC sets out its thinking on the approach to drafting the Sector Deal – focusing on four themes which are: ‘data & design’, ‘infrastructure’, ‘place’ and ‘people’.

Each segment has been drawn up by working groups of representatives from within the sector. Work began on the drafting of the Deal in January (see letsrecycle.com story).

Among the current proposals set out in the draft deal, UKRC is seeking for government to support research into resource demand from UK industries up to 2050.

The draft plan also outlines proposals to support skills development in the industry, with ring-fenced funding coming from an extended producer responsibility (EPR) system for packaging.

UKRC would also like to unlock funding for research and development, testing and commercialisation of new technologies needed to handle and treat waste in the future.

“This can be achieved by government support to build pilot plants and test emerging technologies, accelerating the early commercialisation of those that prove viable through existing organisations such as Innovate UK,” UKRC says.

Participation

The UKRC is chaired by Suez UK chief executive David Palmer-Jones, and is supported by the Environmental Services Association (ESA). Individuals involved in the group include Viridor managing director Phil Piddington, Veolia’s Richard Kirkman, Julie Hill of WRAP and Roger Morton, formerly of Axion Recycling.

“We would very much welcome the participation of all groups, organisations and individuals who identify as belonging to the resources sector, and we offer the initial thoughts of the council and working groups, through this consultation process, to start the discussion.”

David Palmer-Jones, UKRC

Commenting on the proposals, Mr Palmer-Jones, said: “The resources and waste sector currently employs a direct workforce of more than 150,000 people, with an estimated 600,000 or more jobs existing in wider circular economy activities such as reuse, repair, leasing and other related activities. Through this consultation process, we want to capture a diverse range of these many voices, to help forge a Sector Deal that both defines our sector and fully unlocks the potential of all of us to deliver even more for the environment, economy and society in future.

“We would very much welcome the participation of all groups, organisations and individuals who identify as belonging to the resources sector, and we offer the initial thoughts of the council and working groups, through this consultation process, to start the discussion.”

Those who wish to participate in the consultation will be able to access the consultation documents and survey from 3pm today. The consultation will remain open until 6pm on September 26.

Related Links
UKRC – Resources Sector Deal consultation

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