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No further consultation on England's waste prevention plan

Defra will not be publishing a draft of England’s waste prevention programme ahead of publishing it in December, said a senior Defra official.

Exclusive MRW strap

Colin Church, Defra’s director of resource, atmosphere and sustainability, speaking exclusively to MRW at RWM, said the department would not consult further on the much-anticipated waste prevention programme because it would give Defra more time to work it through, and to encourage engagement with the plan.

This is despite the current consultation, which ends on 23 September, being labelled by industry leaders “a missed opportunity” to lay out targets and objectives.

Colin Church

Church (left) said criticism was misdirected because the intention of the consultation was to set out principles and priority sectors, not specific content.

He defended Defra’s decision not to include a draft stage, saying it was important people had had an opportunity to talk about the synthesis, the overall approach.

“If we put all that detail out there then everyone would burrow down into all that detail of the proposals and it would be much harder to get everyone to engage on the overall thing.”

He said that by not consulting on the detail, Defra would have more time to work out the programme.

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

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.

  • Church also rejected criticism that the Waste Management Plan was a “tick-box exercise”. He said: “I’ve been saying for the last year and a half, since I came into this job, that the revised Waste Management Plan for England is purely and simply a container, a structure, a way of bringing together the policies that affect waste management in England. It’s not a new strategy - some people don’t want to hear that.”

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