CIWM greets draft Waste Prevention Plan with disappointment

CIWM HAS expressed a number of concerns about the draft Waste Prevention Plan published today by Defra.


“In terms of its content, CIWM believes that the draft plan fails on two fundamental levels and represents a significant missed opportunity to stitch together Government thinking on resources in the round,” says CIWM chief executive Steve Lee.


“At a strategic level, the plan fails to deliver the necessary shift away from narrow waste-focused thinking to a broader vision encompassing resource efficiency and circular economics. At a practical level, there is a complete absence of any concrete and measurable objectives and actions, far too little on data and the range of metrics needed to measure genuine prevention, and no innovative thinking on policy mechanisms to drive behaviour change.


“Early discussions on this plan explored ambitious concepts including the role of green taxation, product policy and standards, Producer Responsibility, and resource security. It is, therefore disappointing to see that these important issues and mechanisms, that could go some way to delivering the objectives of Article 1 of the Waste Framework Directive (WFD), have been left by the wayside.


“Our sector is under no illusion regarding the complexity of delivering genuine waste prevention and we are pleased to note that the plan does signpost the good work that has been done to date in this country. However, there is so much more to achieve that the degree of intervention and co-ordination that can only come from Government will be needed. The draft plan suggests that the Government has not grasped the scale and urgency of this challenge.


“In addition, CIWM believes that the Government may struggle to convince the Commission that the draft plan will satisfy the requirements of Article 29 of the WFD, being short on clear objectives and failing to include an evaluation of the range of possible measures set out in the WFD or any others. Even if it does pass muster, the current pace of change around waste and resources means that an early review of the plan will be essential.


“Ultimately, the consultation focuses primarily on roles and responsibilities and our initial answer to the questions posed is that the proposed role for Government appears to be to stand on the sidelines while forward thinking businesses take the initiative and local authorities and third sector organisations struggle with more ambition than resources. This is not the vision we had hoped for and CIWM will be making this point strongly in its response.”


Details on the consultation documents can be found HERE