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Back resource efficiency, politicians urged

Resources & Waste UK (R&WUK), the partnership between the Environmental Services Association (ESA) and the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), has added its voice to calls for politicians in the new Parliament to embrace resource efficiency.

R&WUK chief executive Steve Lee has written separately to environment secretary Michael Gove, resource minister Therese Coffey and Labour’s shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman (links to each letter below).

The ESA and CIWM had previously written to Gove as part of a joint approach from the Trade Association Group.

In the opening part of Lee’s letter to Gove, he highlights the economic argument for a stronger waste sector: “Resource efficiency has been identified as a £23bn opportunity for the UK, and our industry’s part in this has been estimated to be a potential £10bn in private sector investment, creating 50,000 permanent jobs and contributing an additional £3bn annually to GDP.”

Lee wants an early meeting “to explore your priorities for maximising the resource and waste management sector’s contribution to sustainable growth, jobs and environmental protection”.

He adds that R&WUK had identified six priority issues, but three were singled out for the minister as being important and urgent: waste crime, extended producer responsibility and investment in infrastructure and services.

“This sector, and R&WUK in particular, will be willing and able partners with the Government and all other stakeholders committed to maximise our value to the economy as a whole and to environmental/health protection, and we seek an early opportunity to discuss that work with you,” Lee wrote.

The issues are repeated in the letter to Coffey, which also seeks a meeting to discuss, among others, Defra’s delayed 25-year environment plan.

A meeting with Hayman is also sought “to explore your priorities for maximising our contribution to growth, jobs and environmental protection”.

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