Ahead of the Budget next week, the Resource Association has put forward a four point agenda that it hopes Chancellor George Osborne will look to implement.
The Resource Association would like to see:
- The creation of a revised Object C to the Landfill Communities Fund to support recycling and recovery programmes, but for this to be focused for a time-limited period on research and innovation to increase the ability of UK manufacturers to use recycled content in products
- Confirmation of the higher packaging recycling targets set out by Defra and the devolved governments in their recent consultation
- Packaging target increases to be linked to reform of the PRN/PERN system to level the playing field for UK plastics reprocessors trying to produce quality products in the UK market in the face of a distortion in the mechanism for allocating PERNs which favours export without reprocessing
- A Resources and Circular Economy Commission to be convened under independent chairmanship to research and examine the potential for a range of green fiscal instruments (such as levies on virgin resource use and reduced VAT for recycled products) and other policy measures that may be needed to deliver the resource recovery and reprocessing elements of the new green economy, and to report with recommendations within a year.
Resource Association chief executive Ray Georgeson said: “Despite many concerns aired about the attitude of the Chancellor to environmental matters, we acknowledge some positive signals in recent times on boosting the green economy such as the Green Investment Bank, carbon floor pricing (and dispensation support for some in our sector), and the Green Deal.
“That said, we look to the Chancellor for some fresh signals of commitment to the green economy, and in particular to boost the efforts being made by UK reprocessors and recycling companies to invest in recycling infrastrcture and the capacity needed to develop our circular economy – using quality recycled materials in quality manufactured products in the European economy where possible.
“The potential is there to take a fresh look at green fiscal measures in the waste and resources sector which is now in need of some attention again, having been left behind somewhat while policy attention was more focused on energy use.
“We therefore call on the Chancellor and the Business Secretary to co-convene a Resources and Circular Economy Commission and give it a broad remit to examine fiscal, regulatory and other policy measures that could give the resources and reprocessing industry the vital boost needed to trigger further investment in the UK’s green economy infrastructure.”