Defra to make changes to environmental regulations in attempt to cut red tape


Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman has announced a range of environmental regulations that will either be amended or scrapped following a review of red tape.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs believes these changes to regulations from everything from waste to carbon reduction, biodiversity and more will save businesses more than £1 billion over five years.


Measures include looking to free businesses from having to fill in Waste Transfer Notes by allowing them to use other forms of evidence such as invoices and an electronic recording system will be introduced in 2014 to do away with unnecessary admin around Waste Transfer Notes.

Small- and medium-sized businesses may be given access to use local authority civic amenity sites and kerbside collections, with Defra looking at how barriers can be removed.

Defra also plans to raise the threshold for small businesses so that less are included in the battery producer responsibility regulations.

While it also intends to look at industry-led voluntary responsibility deals on packaging to encourage more recycling of plastics and reducing the costs of compliance for businesses via WEEE compliance schemes.

It also intends to drop site waste management plans for construction sites altogether as it argues that the Landfill Tax acts as a deterrent to creating waste.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: “I want to be very clear that this is not about rolling back environmental safeguards, nor is it just about cutting regulation to stimulate growth.

“We’ve always said that we were going to keep the vitally important protections our environment needs. This was about getting better rules, not weaker ones. The results of the Red Tape Challenge will be good for the environment and good for business, because as well as upholding environmental protection we will remove unnecessary bureaucracy to allow businesses to free up resources to invest in growth.

“We’re making it easier for people to do the right thing, by making rules clearer and be getting rid of old, unworkable regulations. This is a prime example of how we can help grow a green economy while looking after our natural resources.”

For more detail, download the Red Tape Challenge – Environment Theme proposals document below.