With a spread of sectors and perspectives around the recent MRW discussion on the resource and waste strategy, there was a danger that the debate would fall back into the familiar position-taking which has arguably kept resource management bogged down for the past 10 years.
It was, however, a breath of fresh air to see the discussion focus very much on the bigger picture, and the significant opportunity for the UK’s resource management system to work collaboratively towards a common goal: achieving better environmental outcomes.
It is only by taking a step back like this and listening to others that we can seize the big prize ahead of us.
“There is a significant opportunity for the UK’s resource management sector.”
Taking a closer look at the EPR consultation from the perspective of producers, the question arose as to whether the prospect of boosting the current 64.7% packaging recycling rate in 2016 to 70% in 2030 justified producers having to pay the full cost of recycling and recovery – with a potential annual bill of as much as £2bn.
We were also pleased to see that the desire to ensure that the UK retains a single system for EPR – and a DRS if implemented – was shared around the table.
As a provider of EPR compliance in countries across Europe, we are keen to ensure that lessons and insight from the operation of other schemes and systems are recognised as the delicate task of revising the UK’s packaging system is explored. This is one of our take-away actions from the round table.
John Redmayne is managing director at European Recycling Platform