Resources & Waste Strategy published by Government

The long-awaited Resources & Waste Strategy has been published today and broadly welcomed by industry. From the outset, the Strategy defines it’s goal as being the move to a more circular economy which keeps resources in use for longer – for that to happen, we must all reduce, reuse and recycle more than we do now. The Strategy will contribute to the delivery of five strategic ambitions:

  1. To work towards all plastic packaging placed on the market being recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025
  2. To work towards eliminating food waste to landfill by 2030
  3. To eliminate avoidable plastic waste over the lifetime of the 25 Year Environment Plan
  4. To double resource productivity by 2050
  5. To eliminate avoidable waste of all kinds by 2050

The strategy includes details of the following:

  • Extending producer responsibility for packaging, ensuring that producers pay the costs of disposal for packaging they place on the market in early 2019
  • Stimulating demand for recycled plastic by introducing a tax on plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled plastic
  • Developing a model for realising resource efficiency savings, working with businesses through ‘resource efficiency clusters’
  • A series of measures to extend the lives of products through repair, reuse and remanufacture. Help for consumers to recycle the materials they contain and dispose of them in the most environmentally sensitive ways.
  • Improving recycling rates by ensuring consistency in the dry recyclable materials collected from households and businesses
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from landfill by ensuring that every householder and appropriate businesses have a weekly separate food waste collection. Legislation for mandatory food waste collections will be in place by 2023
  • Introducing a pilot scheme to reduce food waste, supported by a £15 million fund. The pilot scheme will be developed in collaboration with businesses and charities and will launch in 2019.
  • Measures to address waste crime
  • Moving away from weight-based towards impact-based targets and reporting, focusing initially on carbon (greenhouse gas emissions) and natural capital accounting

SWM are keen to ensure that the new Strategy brings benefit to our stakeholders, and the long-term sustainability of the West Midlands. We recently attended a workshop with WRAP to feed in our thoughts on areas of the Strategy including the Circular Economy Package and it’s implications for SMEs. We will also:

  • Promote the consultations described in the Strategy to allow our stakeholders to respond and shape future policy
  • Promote funding opportunities that are accessible to organisations in the West Midlands
  • Provide learning opportunities on related aspects of the strategy through workshops for our networks
  • Use our existing networks to support the focus on ‘resource efficiency clusters’ for businesses, including our Green Business Clubs Network
  • Bring cross-sector partners together to develop innovative solutions through our Innovative Low Carbon Working Group
  • Support our local authority partners to develop appropriate waste strategies that reflect the national priorities
  • Use the expertise of our members who are active in this sector to the benefit of others, including CliniSolutions, the Environment Agency, i-Clean Systems, International Synergies, Ørsted, Ricoh, Severn Trent and Veolia