Monday, July 11, 2016

The Resource Association issued a rallying call to the resources sector to find new ways of collaborating to shape future resources policy. 

The call was made at the Association’s Annual Lecture, held on Thursday 8 July at the National Liberal Club in London, where guest lecturer Jože Gregorič of the Snaga company that manages waste and resources in Ljubljana, the European Green Capital 2016, gave a masterclass in how the Slovenian capital had built over ten years high participation in separate collection, radical approaches to communications and significantly lowered residual waste per capita.

Opening the event, the Association’s Chairman Peter Clayson said:

“In the immediate aftermath of the historic Brexit decision, clearly the priority for businesses is to continue to satisfy their customers and carry on with business as usual. From a longer term policy perspective, it is unlikely to stay as business as usual and the resource sector will have to work hard to ensure its priorities are near the top of the new agenda.”

In closing remarks, the Association’s Chief Executive Ray Georgeson thanked Mr Gregorič for joining us to share his insights, recognising that, regardless of the future status of the UK in relation to the EU we would still benefit from learning from our European neighbours and sharing our own good practice.  He further observed:

“The UK political situation is certainly fluid and feels febrile. Many questions remain to be resolved about the UK’s future relationship with the EU. I suspect that the circular economy may not be top or even close to the top of the new Prime Minister and new Cabinet’s ‘to do’ list but it is our job to continue to press for some early signals as to how the UK Government intends to move forward on resources and waste policy and the circular economy.

“Understandably, despite uncertainties and fluidity, attention is starting to turn towards how we may find opportunity in the new political and policy landscape for the UK.  We need clear signals from Government, but the onus must also be on our industry to help shape our own future.

“We stand ready to help, and call on our colleagues across the sector to work together to find new ways to collaborate to shape future strategy. It’s clear that our colleagues in Defra will need support and we will need to step up to the plate. The challenge of working through the variety of interests and possible tensions over priorities must be tackled and I believe we can do this in an innovative and energising way if we choose to do so.

“We have the fora, the people and the knowledge to do this well. All we need now is the desire and appetite to shape the new landscape for our industry.”

Jože Gregorič's lecture on waste initiatives and policy in Ljubljana can be found below.