The Resource Association has issued a challenge to the UK’s political parties as campaigning begins for the 2017 General Election, to respond to the potential of the circular economy and better resource efficiency in their election manifestos.
In its “Manifesto for Resources 2017” the Resource Association (RA) highlights “Ten Steps towards a Circular Economy” – a series of policy proposals that would have a transformational effect on the UK resources sector and change course towards a far more resource efficient, circular economy with job creation, better resource use, environmental benefits and high quality recycling at its beating heart.
These 10 steps include undertaking a comprehensive review of English waste policy; establishing a statutory duty on businesses to collect and submit data on waste and resource use; and showing a commitment of new investment to tackle waste crime.
As part of this, the RA again reiterates its perceived need for a new Resources Industry Infrastructure Action Plan, which would identify the next actions needed on recycling market development, building on the original work and remit of WRAP and examining all necessary aspects of action needed – including assessment of barriers as well as opportunities.
It also sets out five key challenges to the political parties: to make a long-term commitment to the development of a circular economy; to send clear signals to our industry about the levels of ambition and impact they see the circular economy having, providing us with a strong and stable policy direction to encourage investment; guaranteeing that existing environmental standards and protections will remain in place, regardless of the outcome of Brexit negotiations; to commit to placing high-quality recycling and consistency in household recycling collections at the heart of resources policy; and to become champions for the value and potential of the circular economy and the role of the resources sector within it.
Resource Association chairman Peter Clayson said: “Our Manifesto for Resources 2017 is a clarion call to the political parties to respond to the huge environmental challenges we face with practical and inspiring policies that could help transform our economy into a sustainable low-carbon economy, irrespective of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations that dominate current political discourse.”
The 10 Steps
The Ten Steps towards a Circular Economy included in the report are:
- Undertake a comprehensive review of English waste policy, transforming the present policy base into a resources and circular economy strategy for England.
- Establish a statutory duty on businesses to collect and submit data on waste and resource use, to aid full understanding of materials flows and impacts and infrastructure planning.
- Introduce a combined approach to tackling biodegradable municipal waste by bringing forward a ban on biodegradable waste to landfill with a duty to provide separate food waste collections accessible to every household by 2025.
- Introduce a requirement for businesses to present separately key recyclables (paper, glass, metals and plastics) and food waste from their premises.
- Establish a statutory duty for local authorities to publish an End Destination Register for Waste and Recyclate.
- Establish a ban on the collection of glass co-mingled with other recyclates.
- Implement a fresh approach to identifying ‘demand-pull’ measures to catalyse demand for products that utilise recyclate – we propose again a new Resources Industry Infrastructure Action Plan that identifies the next actions needed on recycling market development, building on the original work and remit of WRAP and examining all necessary aspects of action needed – including assessment of barriers as well as opportunities.
- Commitment of new investment to tackle waste crime at home and illegal exports of waste sent as recyclate,
- Undertake a full review of the Packaging Recovery Note system for producer responsibility for packaging and packaging waste.
- Undertake a review of public procurement rules.
Click here to view the report and the 10 steps in full