Effective regulation is vital to drive investment, improve environmental standards, encourage a level playing field and help to root out criminals.
It is in everyone’s interest to have an independent and effective regulator. And a collaborative approach between industry and regulators is key to maximising environmental benefits while minimising regulatory cost.
Utilising the expertise that exists within the recycling sector to develop effective regulation and adopt priorities that target environmental risk will enable the Environment Agency to focus its resources where they will have the biggest impact.
For example, we are keen to work with the regulators to help develop a system of ‘earned recognition’, enabling the best performing operators to reduce their regulatory burden and enable the regulators to direct resources to where they are most needed. This should include a crackdown on crime and on poor performers who ignore their obligations, pollute the environment and harm communities.
Focusing regulatory resources on the worst offenders will help to plug weaknesses in the supply chain and keep waste out of the hands of criminals.
Of equal importance is receiving a good service from regulators. Delays and inconsistencies in the permitting process, for example, can hold up the development of vital infrastructure, causing significant problems to our members. So we are keen to work with regulators to find out where and why bottlenecks occur.
By working together we can agree regulatory objectives along with the most effective approach to delivering them. This will improve standards and the sector’s performance.
Sam Corp is head of regulation at Environmental Services Association (ESA)