Resource Association cautiously welcomes Environment Bill

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Resource Association has responded to the introduction of the government’s Environment Bill to Parliament with cautious optimism, though it acknowledged that uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the future of the government could see the Bill “blown off course”.

The Bill was included in the Queen’s Speech on 14 October and laid out a number of key measures related to waste and resources, including the implementation of extended producer responsibility, a deposit return scheme, potential charges on particular single-use items and consistency in household recycling collections. A new framework of environmental governance has also been proposed, including an Office for Environmental Protection, along with stronger powers to tackle waste crime and litter.

Despite the promising elements of the Bill, there is widespread doubt over whether it will even be implemented in this current Parliament, given the government’s lack of majority and the looming prospect of a general election.

Commenting on the Bill, Chief Executive Ray Georgeson said: “I genuinely wish the Environment Bill a fair wind, but it is hard to escape the feeling that it will be blown off course by the coming Brexit storms, whichever way they blow. There are some strong signals of intent in the proposed Bill, including the powers for the Office of Environmental Protection. We of course are keen to see detail related to extended producer responsibility, consistency and deposit return – our industry is hungry for a coherent and rounded package of reforms, not just a series of piecemeal actions. This is much needed if we are to be serious about creating a circular economy and tackling the climate emergency.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITOR

  1. The Resource Association focuses on championing the value of UK reprocessing and recycling in terms of employment, resource efficiency and integrity, carbon reduction and our role in the low-carbon, green economy. It works with Governments across the UK, the European Commission, other trade associations and stakeholders with shared interests. Our member companies and organisations represent an estimated £3.3bn contribution to UK GDP, the recovery and recycling of over 7 million tonnes annually and the employment of over 12,500 people. Further information at www.resourceassociation.com.
  2. A transcript of the Queen’s Speech can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/queens-speech-2019 and an associated background briefing is available at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/839370/Queen_s_Speech_Lobby_Pack_2019_.pdf