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Recycling industry submits policy proposals for next UK government

Recycling industry submits policy proposals for next UK government

Recycling industry submits policy proposals for next UK government

Published by trade body the Resource Association on March 31st after its members came to an agreement on the recommendations on March 10th, the Manifesto for Resources 2015 is intended to form the backbone of a all-inclusive new government strategy for business and consumer recycling.

At its centre would be an underpinning Resource Management and Circular Economy Act, the Resource Association said, comprising "several building blocks for an intelligent, data-led resources strategy that sends clear signals ... that the UK is taking a long-term approach to issues of resource security, scarcity and efficiency".

New waste collection requirements for businesses are one of the core focuses of the proposed act. These would include the establishment of a statutory duty on organisations to collect and submit data on waste and resource use, as well as a mandate to collect key recycles - glass, metals, paper and plastics - separately from food waste.

It would also ban the collection of glass intermingled with other recyclables, a ban on biodegradable waste going to landfill and the setting up of a new Office of Resource Management, as suggested by the Materials Security Working Group.

On the consumer side, the Resource Association wants the proposed act to mandate the availability of food waste collections to every household in the UK by 2020.

Outside of legislation, the Manifesto for Resources 2015 urges the government and its agencies to focus on catalysing demand for products that use recycled materials. This could be achieved via a new Resources Industry Infrastructure Action Plan, it suggested, as well as "urgent research" into the feasibility of a legal minimum for recycled content in key product streams.

The Resource Association also recommended an independent review of product design in relation to barriers to recyclability, a review of public procurement rules and a study into the possibility of introducing an incineration tax.

Ray Georgeson, chief executive of the trade body, commented: "There have been growing demands across our industry for stronger leadership and fresh momentum in policy development in resources management.

"Our Manifesto for Resources 2015 is a significant shopping list of policy measures, but it reflects the need and depth with which policy in this area needs review and rejuvenation... It is a call to action for future members of parliament and the incoming government, regardless of its political colours and complexity. We challenge them all to be bold and seize the prize of resources, jobs and growth in a circular economy."

Earlier this year, a poll of over 2,000 Britons - carried out by Ipsos Mori on behalf of construction firm Interserve - found that more than three-quarters of respondents would back a so-called 'pollution tax', among other measures, in a bid to make big businesses take their environmental responsibilities more seriously.

Moreover, 13 per cent of those polled said they would "definitely consider" boycotting an organisation with poor green credentials.

 

Posted by William Rodriguez

Image courtesy of Thinkstock