The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has set out a number of recommendations to more closely align the planning system with the strategic objectives of the circular economy.
There is significant scope to improve the planning culture within many local authorities to give the industry the flexibility it needs to adapt to the new, sustainable business models shaped by the Circular Economy.
ESA’s new report, Planning for a Circular Economy outlines key aspects of the planning regime which can often frustrate the industry’s efforts towards this aim.
ESA policy advisor, Stephen Freeland said: “Many local authorities need to let go of the strict control culture that has prevailed in one form or another since the ‘landfill era’ and instead adopt a more responsive approach to planning for waste management which better recognises the variable and dynamic nature of the space in which our industry now operates. Our industry increasingly resembles that of any other logistics business with materials moved around as markets dictate.
“Few other sectors face the same planning and political obsession about the origin of material or commodities, and where these should be transported to. To hamstring the resource and waste management industry in such a way will likely hamper investment and progress towards the objectives of the circular economy.”