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England needs a national strategic waste board

England needs a national strategic waste board for coordinating policy and ensuring a consistent approach is adopted for dealing with its waste.

That is the opinion of Redfearn Glass director Nigel Pritchard who recently discussed regulatory disconnect with representatives of local authorities, industries and retailers at a meeting of the Industry and Public Sector Waste Action Forum group.

He said: “The problem of conflicting recycling targets for industry and local authorities is well known. In addition, the market mechanisms in the guise of Packaging Recovery Notes and the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme will only add to the issues we all face.

“As will the issues arising from local authorities and other government bodies working at different geographic levels, some locally, some regionally, and others nationally. Issues such as these have led to different priorities and interpretations of regulations, resulting in inconsistencies in approach and judgement.”

Pritchard believes it is at a policy setting level where a body with a holistic view could have the most dramatic and influential impact – and he believes that there would be a lot of support for such a bold move.

In a climate where policy and regulations are complex and divergent, his opinion is that it is difficult to apply joined up thinking and even in some cases to regulate.

“Perhaps a central, national body would help to avoid costly delays such as those which have occurred in the case of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive, while national embarrassments like the fridge mountains of the 1990s might be a thing of the past”, added Pritchard.

“We will be working hard to make government listen to our members while it is consulting on the development of its revised waste strategy later this year to see if the views of those it will affect really can make a difference.”

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