The next government should pass a Resource Management and Circular Economy Act to give legal teeth to measures to improve recycling, the Resource Association has said.
It is Manifesto for Resources 2015, issued ahead of May’s general election, the association said its proposals offered a fresh policy impetus, based on “an intelligent, data-led resources strategy that sends clear signals to industry and investors that the UK is taking a long-term approach to issues of resource security, scarcity and efficiency and the building of the circular economy”.
Resource Association chief executive Ray Georgeson (pictured) said the manifesto “reflects the need and depth with which policy in this area needs review and rejuvenation.
“We challenge [MPs] to be bold and seize the prize of resources, jobs and growth in a circular economy.”
The proposed Act would include:
- a statutory Office of Resource Management
- a statutory duty on businesses to collect and submit data on waste and resource use, placed on licensed providers of waste collections
- a ban on biodegradable waste being sent to landfill, backed by a duty to provide food waste collections accessible to every household by 2020
- businesses being required to collect food waste separately from paper, glass, metals, plastics from their premises
- a statutory duty for local authorities to publish an end destination register for waste and recyclate, and extend the duty to contractors to provide the necessary data
- banning on the collection of glass commingled with other recyclates, to improve the quality of glass for recycling.
Other proposals in the manifesto included setting targets for increasing recyclate tonnages reprocessed in the UK, urgent research into the feasibility of legislation on minimum recycled content in key product streams, new investment to tackle waste crime including illegal exports, and a full review of the packaging recovery note system.
The association also called for an incineration tax.