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Rogerson launches waste prevention programme

Resource minister Dan Rogerson has said England’s prevention strategy is “not target focused”.

The plan, ‘Prevention is better than cure: the role of waste prevention in moving to a more resource efficient economy’ was published a day before the deadline set by the EU.

Unlike Wales’ plan, which came out earlier this month, it does not set any specific prevention targets.

Rogerson told MRW: “This is not a target-focused programme. This is an approach that the Government has taken across the whole range of issues.

“Wales has set long targets, but the approach of what needs to be done will be similar across all the UK.”

The programme sets out some relatively modest funding for a range of projects in an attempt to stimulate reuse and investment.

Rogerson said: “We have to be honest, we are working against a background of deficit reduction from Government, and we are not in the time where we have as much money as we would like to invest we need to make sure we target that money effectively.”

Defra said businesses could save £18bn a year by “taking simple steps to produce less waste”. It added reusing products such as household appliances and furniture could save households £1bn a year.

Announcements include:

  • £1.5m Waste Prevention Loan Fund
  • £900,000 programme of Action Based Research pilots
  • £800,000, two-year scheme to support communities to take forward innovative waste prevention, reuse and repair actions
  • Technology Strategy Board investment of up to £5m in collaborative research and development

Dan Rogerson at the launch of the Waste Prevention Programme at the Bright Sparks Workshop in Islington, London.

Rogerson at the launch of the Waste Prevention Programme in london

Rogerson launched the programme at the Bright Sparks Workshop in Islington, London (left). He said: “Preventing waste from being produced in the first place is not only good for the environment, but for the economy and household budgets too.

“That’s why we are making it easier for people to find out where they can get things repaired or pass on things they no longer use.

“Everyone has a role to play in reducing waste and I want to see businesses helping consumers and the environment by designing products to last longer and using resources better.”

Colin Church, director for resource and waste at Defra, said: “Preventing excess waste delivers environmental, economic and social benefits and is key to a more sustainable and circular economy.”

A consultation on England’s programme ended on 23 September, but many within the industry were dissatisfied with the proposals and called for further consultation. The consultation was labelled “a missed opportunity” to lay out targets and objectives.

At the time, Church told MRW there would be no further consultation so the department would have more time to work it through, and to encourage engagement with the plan.

The EU revised Waste Framework Directive required member states to publish waste prevention programmes by 12 December.

The Welsh programme sets out a series of tough targets to “break the link between economic growth and generation of waste”. It introduces annual waste reduction targets for 2050, compared to a 2006/7 baseline. These include decreases of 1.4% a year for construction and demolition, 1.2% for commercial and 1.4% for industrial waste.  The target for household waste reduction is 1.2% a year.

Scotland’s programme was published on 2 October while a consultation on Northern Ireland’s programme is due to end the day before the EU deadline.

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