The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has come under strong pressure from leaders within the waste management sector over a perceived lack of interest and support for the waste management sector.
Steve Lee, the Chief Executive of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), was one of the most vocal critics.
Responding to the publication of Defra’s Single Departmental Plan: 2015 to 2020 last week, CIWM said it was disappointed at the lack of reference to waste and resource management, as well as wider climate change issues.
Mr Lee added: “The stark picture here is of a department that is utterly depleted in terms of resources, funding and vision. Responding to the Environmental Audit Committee’s recent enquiry on Sustainability and HM Treasury, CIWM said that the view that growth is the answer to current economic challenges is only viable if that growth is predicated on a more sustainable, resource efficient and low carbon approach. This plan won’t deliver – we can only hope that the 25-year environment plan promised later this year by Defra does better.”
However, the department did give a brief response to its critics saying that a new 25-year plan for the environment will contain commitments to waste and recycling.
So, the question now is, to what extent will there be support for new waste and recycling measures. However, experts have also said that there is unlikely to be many developments ahead of the new Circular Economy package and that will not be considered by the European Commission and ministers for decisions until next year (assuming the UK opts to stay within the EU).