Just before Christmas 2018, the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove published the long-awaited Resources and Waste Strategy for England and Wales.
An important aspect of the strategy is that businesses and manufacturers are to pay the full cost of recycling or disposing of their packaging waste. This relates to the UK’s PRN system whereby money is put into recycling and recovery by obligated businesses.
Another key area of the strategy is extended producer responsibility, proposed for items such as mattresses. And producers already covered by responsibility requirements, “will also be expected to take more responsibility for items that can be harder or costly to recycle including cars, electrical goods, and batteries”. It is proposed that there will be consistent recycling for every household to drive up recycling rates and supporting comprehensive and frequent collections; Mandatory food waste prevention targets for businesses; and Compulsory electronic tracking of waste to clamp-down on illegal movements of waste at home and abroad.
The announcements form part of the Strategy, which the first comprehensive update in more than a decade. It will eliminate avoidable plastic waste and help leave the environment in a better state than we found it for future generations.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “Our strategy sets out how we will go further and faster, to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Together we can move away from being a ‘throw-away’ society, to one that looks at waste as a valuable resource. “We will cut our reliance on single-use plastics, end confusion over household recycling, tackle the problem of packaging by making polluters pay, and end the economic, environmental and moral scandal that is food waste.
“Through this plan we will cement our place as a world leader in resource efficiency, leaving our environment in a better state than we inherited it.”