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Defra waste director confirms review will contain waste prevention plan

The forthcoming review of waste policy will contain a waste prevention plan, the Government’s director of waste at Defra has confirmed.

Speaking at the Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport forum’s ‘Future of UK waste policy’ seminar, Defra director of climate, waste and atmosphere Neil Thornton said: “There’s a commitment [in the revised waste framework directive] for us to have a waste prevention plan, therefore, if I give you a sneak preview of one thing that will be in the waste review, it will have a waste prevention plan.”

He added that the issue of waste prevention “falls at the heart of everyone’s serious thinking about waste”. He said: “Whenever you talk about waste prevention, you say how important it is, but as soon as you get down to a question of what, you get very contextual and specific. The kind of policies you can adopt in relation to one kind of waste are completely different in relation to another. It’s going to be very important, and we’re going to put a lot of strength and weight behind that.”

The announcement of a waste reduction plan follows rumours in the industry that the review would not contain a prevention plan and that this would be consulted on separately.

Thornton also confirmed that the publication of the review in June represents a delay from the original release date. He said: “There was a time when we had planned to publish it in May and the Defra business, revised structural reform plan published about a month back made clear that the timetable had shifted to June.”

However, in a recent House of Commons question session, environment secretary Caroline Spelman insisted that there was no “question of delay”. She said: “Our business plan makes it clear that the waste review, which was launched in June last year, will be published in June this year.”

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