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Thinktank calls for tougher landfill tax regime

A new report calls on the Treasury to consider greater financial penalties for landfill and the establishment of an Office for Resource Management.

IPPR report on waste policy

The calls come from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) which says Britain has to radically rethink the way it manages its resources. It says landfill tax should be reconsidered in the next parliament, once a “balanced economic recovery” has been established.

The thinktank subscribes to the concept of circular economies “in which non-biological resources like metals are reused again and again, while biological resources such as food are reused as fully as possible before being returned to the Earth’s ecosystem”.

IPPR’s briefing paper, ‘The wasteline: Redefining ‘waste’ and improving resource management policy’, has been published to coincide with the Resource Association’s annual conference and analyses national waste policy, which it says “has been a significant driver of cultural change in the UK”.

It identifies three strategic goals:

  • a better understanding among business and government of how the UK’s resources are used
  • a cultural and behavioural shift throughout society in favour of reusing materials
  • an end to the inefficient and polluting treatment of reusable and recyclable (or ‘secondary’) materials.

Recommendations include:

  • the establishment of an Office for Resource Management to both increase understanding of the UK’s materials and resources, and to facilitate cultural and behavioural change
  • lobbying the EU to amend the law that requires the labelling of foods with ‘best before’ dates, to make the only date-marking label mandated by law the ‘use by’ date which is a genuine food-safety issue
  • Treasury consideration of greater financial penalties for landfill disposal, and a consultation on the best means of reducing incineration, in the next parliament, once a balanced economic recovery has been established.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • As I told EFRACOM a fortnight ago, I would welcome a consultation on the best means of reducing incineration. Indeed, UKWIN has several helpful suggestions, not least:
    + Adopting recycling targets or measures that are no less ambitious than the Scottish and Welsh recycling targets of 70% by 2025;
    + Requiring the removal of dry recyclables from mixed waste prior to incineration;
    + Requiring separate collection of food waste;
    + Ensuring that the use of incinerator bottom ash (IBA) and air pollution control residues (APCr) do not count towards recycling targets;
    + Ending government subsidies and financial support for waste incineration;
    + Imposing a moratorium on new incineration capacity, including pyrolysis and gasification;
    + Introducing a tax on waste incineration; and
    + Providing support for Local Authorities who want to get out of being locked-in to paying for unwanted incineration capacity

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