Litter Strategy Misses Opportunity To Ramp Up EPR

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) says the Government’s new anti-littering strategy, launched yesterday (10 April), misses an opportunity to highlight the “important role that extended producer responsibility schemes could play”.

Under the new proposals, the most serious litterers could be hit with the £150 fines, while vehicle owners could receive penalty notices when it can be proved litter was thrown from their car – even if it was discarded by somebody else.

The strategy also calls for councils to stop charging householders for disposal of DIY household waste at civic amenity sites – legally, household waste is supposed to be free to dispose of at such sites, Defra says.

ESA – “However, there is some uncertainty as to how the proposals outlined in the strategy will be funded and we think the Strategy has missed an opportunity to highlight in more detail the important role that extended producer responsibility schemes could play”

It also sets out to create a new “expert group” to look at further ways of cutting the worst kinds of litter, including plastic bottles and drinks containers, cigarette ends and fast food packaging.

The strategy also outlines measures to protect seas, oceans and marine life from pollution.

In response, ESA’s executive director, Jacob Hayler, said: “The Litter Strategy outlines a number of proposals which will we hope will have a positive impact by reducing the amount of litter discarded in the UK.

“However, there is some uncertainty as to how the proposals outlined in the strategy will be funded and we think the Strategy has missed an opportunity to highlight in more detail the important role that extended producer responsibility schemes could play.

“ESA’s Policy Paper published last year ‘The Role of Extended Producer Responsibility in Tackling Litter in the UK’ highlighted that transferring the cost of preventing and clearing up the some of the most littered items in the UK such as cigarettes and chewing gum alone could save Local Authorities in the region of £300m each year in clean-up costs.

“Introducing producer responsibility levies on the manufacturers of some of these most frequently littered items would free up resources for to cover both enforcement and litter clean-up costs as well as to fund anti-litter campaigns.”


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