The industry’s latest campaigning voice has marked the election of the new Government with a call for action on priorities considered vital for the waste sector and the wider UK economy.
Resources & Waste UK (R&WUK) is a joint lobbying initiative announced six months ago between the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) and the Environmental Services Association (ESA).
R&WUK has published Sustainable resource and waste: priorities for the new UK government, which covers six areas:
- supporting and improving waste collection and recycling performance
- improving the climate for investment in circular economy infrastructure to deliver sustainable growth and jobs
- boosting domestic UK demand and markets for recycled materials
- creating the right regulatory balance between hitting waste criminals hard and encouraging legitimate businesses
- delivering coherent resources and waste policy across Governmental departments and between the four UK Governments
- engaging positively in policy development for resources and wastes at a European level
For each one, R&WUK specifies not only what is needed from ministers across all four nations but also how the industry itself can play a part.
It has written to Defra seeking a “proactive and open relationship”with the department and whichever minister eventually gets waste and resources brief.
The letter says: “R&WUK draws together extensive knowledge and experience across a wide range of industry issues, as well an understanding of the resource and waste management needs and opportunities of our customers in all industry sectors. We are keen to put this expertise at your disposal.”
According to the ESA executive director Jacob Hayler, left: “The medium to long term outlook for our sector is hugely positive, but right now every part of the supply chain is facing significant challenges to some degree or another.”
Publication of the manifesto coincided with the launch of the European Commission’s consultation on its proposed Circular Economy policy package.
CIWM chief executive – and chief executive of R&WUK – Steve Lee said: “If we are to truly make the transition from ‘waste’ to ‘resource management’, many of the drivers and mechanisms need to be implemented at a European level.”
Lee told MRW that the manifesto - the first publication from the new partnership since it was unveiled in November 2014 - came at a time when the industry needed a strong, co-ordinated voice.
“This has been a long process with the two organisations coming together and saying: ‘there is not much difference between us’.
“We’ve been preparing our position for a while but what an opportunity this is with a new government coming in and the new thinking from Europe. It is about a bigger voice that covers the industry wall-to-wall.”
Hayler said much thought and time had gone into the document.
“We are building on recent successes with our two organisations writing joint letters to the government, raising issues such as waste crime. We had success over that with money promised in two Budgets and it shows what we can achieve when we speak with one voice.
“The industry has gone through a huge transition in the last 10 years but we now have to go through another period of transition. There is a period of uncertainty ahead so it is a pretty good time to come together as we try to set a forward-looking agenda.”
- There will be a detailed look at the proposals in the 13 June issue of MRW