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Defra launches consultation on waste prevention plan proposals for England

Defra is consulting on the roles of different players to prevent waste as part of its research to inform England’s forthcoming waste prevention plan.

Resource management minister Lord de Mauley said Defra is seeking views on its vision for how waste prevention can be achieved.

The consultation’s online survey asks whether respondents agree with proposals on the roles and actions of Government, businesses, local authorities, organisations such as reuse groups, social enterprises and charities, and individuals on the matter of waste prevention.

The proposals include: helping businesses and councils realise savings to be made from reducing waste and improving resource efficiency; making it easier for consumers to find out how to reduce waste and reuse; and ensuring products are designed to last longer, contain less hazardous parts, and reduce the environmental impact of the waste they create.

400-Lord de Mauley

Source: Defra

The range of potential roles and actions presented within the consultation could also “galvanise action by businesses, local authorities and others”, who stand to benefit from the boost to the economy as a result of preventing waste, Defra stated. De Mauley (left) also highlighted the benefits to the environment of waste prevention.

He added: “Reducing waste is everyone’s responsibility. What we have set out in this programme will help businesses save money, help people cut back on waste and pass on items that they would otherwise throw away.”

Businesses can make £17 billion in annual savings by taking simple steps to produce less waste, according to Defra figures. The department also stated: “Reusing products, such as household appliances and furniture, could save households £1 billion each year and help create jobs.”

Defra urged consumers, businesses and councils to take part in the consultation, which closes on 23 September.

The department said it will use the responses to draft England’s waste prevention programme due in December, alongside the information it has collected through researching the subject since 2005.

This included the call for evidence, another, more detailed consultation that took place from 11 March to 29 April, which called for organisations to express their views on the Government’s understanding of available data and of the barriers to reducing waste in England.

England’s waste prevention programme was promised as part of the Government’s waste policy review 2011, and fulfills the stipulation of the Waste Framework Directive (rWFD) for EU member states to treat prevention of waste as a priority, in accordance with the waste hierarchy (see illustration above).

The rWFD requires EU member states to establish their national waste prevention programmes by 12 December.

The devolved administrations will publish their waste prevention plans separately.

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