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Resources and waste strategy for England published

Date Published: Tuesday 18th December 2018

Businesses and manufacturers will pay the full cost of recycling or disposing of their packaging waste, under a major new government strategy unveiled by the Environment Secretary today (Tuesday 18 December 2018).

The move will overhaul England’s waste system, putting a legal onus on those responsible for producing damaging waste to take greater responsibility and foot the bill.

The announcement forms part of the government’s ambitious new Resources and Waste Strategy, 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.

Producers will also be expected to take more responsibility for items that can be harder or costly to recycle including cars, electrical goods, and batteries.

Householders will also see the existing complicated recycling system simplified, with new plans for a consistent approach to recycling across England. 

The Resources and Waste Strategy sets out how government will:

  • ensure producers pay the full net costs of disposal or recycling of packaging they place on the market by extending producer responsibility – up from just 10% now
  • review our producer responsibility schemes for items that can be harder or costly to recycle including cars, electrical goods, batteries and explore extending it to textiles, fishing gear, vehicle tyres, certain materials from construction and demolition, and bulky waste such as mattresses, furniture and carpets
  • introduce a consistent set of recyclable materials collected from all households and businesses, and consistent labelling on packaging so consumers know what they can recycle, to drive-up recycling rates
  • ensure weekly collections of food waste, which is often smelly and unpleasant, for every household – restoring weekly collections in some local authorities. This will be subject to consultation which will also consider free garden waste collections for households with gardens, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from landfill
  • introduce a deposit return scheme, subject to consultation, to increase the recycling of single-use drinks containers including bottles, cans, and disposable cups filled at the point of sale
  • explore mandatory guarantees and extended warranties on products, to encourage manufacturers to design products that last longer and drive up the levels of repair and re-use
  • introduce annual reporting of food surplus and waste by food businesses. Should progress be insufficient, we will consult on introducing mandatory targets for food waste prevention
  • clamp-down on illegal movements of waste at home and abroad by introducing compulsory electronic tracking of waste, and tougher penalties for rogue waste crime operators if they mislabel their waste to dodge tax rules

To read more about the strategy please click here and to download the full strategy please click here.

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