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Viridor chief becomes new ESA chairman

Phil Piddington, managing director of Viridor, has been appointed chairman of the Environmental Services Association (ESA).

Piddington (pictured) stepped into the shoes vacated by Stewart Davies at the ESA’s annual lunch event held in London. 

In a speech, Piddington said his priorities for the ESA included campaigning for stronger producer responsibility, pushing for ”clear measures” to increase recycled content in products and tackling waste crime.

He called on the Government to make recycled content in products mandatory if reform of the packaging recovery note system and the Treasury’s new plastics tax do not work well enough.

“We need stronger producer responsibility which encourages better product and packaging design, and which properly funds the collection, separation and processing of materials,” Piddington said.

“To achieve real resource efficiency, we must ensure there are viable end markets. But for this we need, and hope to welcome, clear measures to encourage the use of increased proportions of recycled content.

”This could be achieved by using variable charges under the new producer responsibility scheme, or through the Treasury’s new plastics tax if rates are high enough.

”But if these measures are not enough to encourage retailers and manufacturers to change their behaviour and use recycled content, then the Government should go further and make it mandatory.”

Piddington added that the ESA would also be prioritising the need to work with Whitehall on ”developing effective measures to stop criminals entering the waste sector”. 

The ESA has criticised Defra’s latest efforts to beef up Duty of Care legislation, saying they fell short of the “complete overhaul” needed for carrier, broker and dealer regulation.

Piddington thanked Davies for the achievements during his term. 

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