Waste and resource issues again appear to be high on the government’s agenda with plans announced to create a ‘waste champion’ role within the Department for Business, following the recommendations of a House of Lords select committee on the bioeconomy.
It is hoped that the plan will join up the government’s work on waste and resource management, and could go some way to satisfy calls for the waste brief to be handed to BIS, which has an active role in developing the business sector in the UK.
Plans have also been announced to create a steering group with industry and key stakeholders to coordinate the development of a bioeconomy, for which waste will be a key area.
The ‘waste champion’ role is likely to be given to the minister for business and energy, a post which is currently held by Michael Fallon, who also holds responsibility within BIS for WEEE and End of Life Vehicles (ELVs).
Calls for government to move responsibility for waste from Defra to BIS have intensified in recent weeks, with the Institution of Civil Engineers putting its weight behind the proposal in its 2014 infrastructure state of the nation report.
In its report, the engineer’s association claimed that the circular economy and resource issues would be better handled within BIS.
The engineers also pick up on the pan-industry theme of the circular economy, recommending that “a move from waste to resource management and a circular economy should be at the centre of government policy across the UK”.