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Lobby group calls for environmental tax reform

The Aldersgate Group, a cross-sector alliance that includes waste management company Kier, has said replicating elsewhere the success seen with landfill tax is needed to drive the zero waste economy.

A report argued a “bold package of policies that includes ambitious environmental tax reform” was needed to make the most of the UK’s resources.

It said that landfill tax had raised £10bn since 1998 and had contributed to a 25% reduction of waste recorded at registered sites.

The report’s zero waste proposals were drafted by Professor Paul Ekins, director of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources.

He said the Government should convene an arms-length Environmental Tax Commission to raise public awareness of future tax initiatives.

He added: “Local authorities should be permitted to re-start pilots for pay-as-you-throw programmes for households, but in a transparent way, with clear proposals for households to share in the reduced waste disposal costs that such a policy can deliver.

“Businesses need to collaborate with the Government on how to take the idea of extended producer responsibility to the next stage.”

He concluded: “Businesses are now clearly incentivised by the landfill tax to reduce waste, and the public is now far more committed to recycling than even a decade ago. Now is the time to go to the next level in reducing the waste and emissions from, and retaining the value in, the materials and energy that provide the physical basis of UK livelihoods, wealth and welfare.”

Earlier this month the Aldersgate Group called for waste policy in Whitehall to be co-ordinated through a new Office for Resource Management.


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