Weeks after the industry had repeated calls for greater Government leadership, many were cheered by waste management policy announcements designed to make the UK “a world leader”.
Beis’s Clean Growth Strategy was followed by an interim assessment from the National Infrastructure Commission which put resource management under the umbrella of carbon emission reduction targets.
Coffey also put her head above the parapet, making speeches at the Larac conference and at the inauguration of new CIWM president David Wilson. Coffey told the audience that policies such as landfill tax, which had driven large amounts of waste into recycling and recovery, no longer seem to be driving change.
Gove launched a consultation on setting up a deposit return scheme (DRS) for drinks containers in England. Keep Britain Tidy launched a report written by Eunomia which claimed that a DRS would save councils money. Larac disputed the finding.
Coca-Cola, which has some of the most forward-thinking sustain-ability and recycling targets, had earlier in the year reversed long-held opposition to DRSs, as long as they were “well-designed”.
The UK’s refuse-derived fuel (RDF) exports were put under scrutiny after EA figures revealed the tonnages sent abroad were plat-eauing after years of growth. Some industry insiders said finding markets was becoming more difficult, but Biffa said it expected to see increased exports next year. RDF-exporting companies, suppliers and contractors also launched a code of practice.