The Resources & Waste Strategy is set to “transform” the recycling sector, according to The Recycling Association chief executive Simon Ellin.
Defra has today published the Strategy, and The Recycling Association is supportive of most of the measures in it.
Simon Ellin said: “Over two years ago we launched our Quality First campaign to improve the quality of materials for recycling, and the Resources & Waste Strategy addresses many of our concerns that led to this.
“There is a commitment to improve the quality of materials that are sent for export, and this has to be welcomed as long as it isn’t so stringent as to become a barrier. But the signs are that we will look to send high quality material to end destinations and we support that principle.
“Full cost recovery for producers is included in the Strategy and will be consulted on, but we are pleased to see that the retailers and manufacturers will need to pay for the recycling of the materials they put on the market.
“We also welcome the idea of a modulated fee, so that those who use packaging that is very difficult or impossible to recycle will have to pay most. This should provide an incentive to them to make their packaging more recyclable.
“The Recycling Association is also pleased to see a commitment to consistent collections for households as this will make it much easier for people to recycle, while clearer labelling will help them put the right items in the right bin.
“Compulsory electronic tracking of waste should help to crack down on waste crime, but we need to ensure it doesn’t create onerous bureaucracy for The Recycling Association members.
“Although we welcome the previously announced tax on plastic packaging that does not use a minimum 30% recycled content, the Resources & Waste Strategy does not mention how investment will be generated for new UK recycling capacity to provide that recycled content. We hope the consultation on this will address this omission. It also needs to look at how improvements can be made to the planning system to make it easier to set up new recycling capacity in the UK.
“Overall, the Resources & Waste Strategy is a comprehensive document that has the potential to transform the recycling sector in England. In particular, the Strategy puts quality first and that is something we welcome.”