20 Dec 2018

Government announces new plans for the war on waste

The environment secretary has this week announced that businesses and manufacturers will pay the full cost of recycling or disposing of their packaging waste, under a major new government strategy.

The move will overhaul England’s waste system, putting a legal onus on those responsible for producing damaging waste to take greater responsibility and foot the bill.

The announcement forms part of the government’s ambitious new Resources and Waste Strategy, the first comprehensive update in more than a decade. It will eliminate avoidable plastic waste and help leave the environment in a better state for future generations.

Producers will also be expected to take more responsibility for items that can be harder or costly to recycle including cars, electrical goods, and batteries.

Householders will also see the existing complicated recycling system simplified, with new plans for a consistent approach to recycling across England.

Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, said, “Our strategy sets out how we will go further and faster, to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Together we can move away from being a ‘throw-away’ society, to one that looks at waste as a valuable resource.

“We will cut our reliance on single-use plastics, end confusion over household recycling, tackle the problem of packaging by making polluters pay, and end the economic, environmental and moral scandal that is food waste.

“Through this plan we will cement our place as a world leader in resource efficiency, leaving our environment in a better state than we inherited it.”

Innovation funding

The government has also announced £8 million of funding for eight new research projects that will explore new and different ways of making, using and recycling plastics.

The government is also investing £20 million to tackle plastics and boost recycling: £10 million more for plastics research and development and £10 million to pioneer innovative approaches to boosting recycling and reducing litter, such as smart bins.

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