This is the moment for the industry to come together and explore in detail the Resources and Waste Strategy and commit to making it happen – Peter Maddox on RTF19

29 May 2019

WRAP’s ambition for the Strategy:

At WRAP we really welcome the ambitious agenda for reform of UK policy on resources and waste laid out in the Strategy and subsequent consultations. Collectively, the wide-ranging proposals have the potential to transform the landscape for the way we manage resources and waste in the future. They can help the UK as a whole to become a leader on resource efficiency and engineer the shift to a more circular economy.

We were particularly pleased to see the long-called for reform of the EPR regime and ambitious consistency agenda.  Aligned together, these could rejuvenate recycling in the UK; making it easier for consumers to do the right thing and kickstart a thriving domestic industry which will enable us to process more of our waste at home. This is especially pertinent given the ongoing challenges posed by the China import restrictions.

While it is easy to get drawn into the specifics of a particular consultation response, it’s important as we move forward to see them as one part of a complex policy web, each having an impact on the others, and implemented with the entire interconnected system in mind.

Given the breadth and interdependence of the various proposals, continuing stakeholder input will be vital in ensuring that the reforms are implemented in a holistic way which avoids unintended consequences. This will require careful thought and will benefit from regular, detailed discussions with stakeholders. At WRAP we stand ready to continue to support this important process.

Why he’s looking forward to attending RTF:

This is the moment for the industry to come together and explore in detail the Resources and Waste Strategy and commit to making it happen. It also feels like this is a watershed moment in global consciousness around the impact of climate change. We have possibly a unique opportunity to harness this awareness and embrace the ambitious agenda in the Resources and Waste Strategy.

It’s important that we look at how we can reconcile these national and local agendas and rise to the expectations of the public. This is in all our interests. Continuing stakeholder engagement will be vital to ensuring the reforms are aligned and work harmoniously together.  I’m keen to hear the thoughts and opinions from the attendees at Resourcing the Future 2019.

There will undoubtedly be challenges ahead, particularly given the current uncertain political and economic climate. But I believe RTF is a great opportunity to put those on the table and tap into our experience and knowledge to explore solutions. We can all be guilty sometimes of living in our silos and I think it’s at conferences like this that you can hear the richness of other perspectives which challenge your own sometimes fixed ideas.

What he’s hoping people would get out of it:

There is a long way to go before this ambitious Strategy is fully realised. There has been some concern expressed in the sector about the length of time it will take for it to be implemented, and the energy needed to engage with the extensive consultations, but it was important to get the detail right rather than legislate in haste and repent at leisure. That level of energy and commitment needs to be maintained and this is a great way of generating it.

This is a fantastic opportunity to hear a rich wealth and depth of experience and perspectives from right across the industry, and from Government officials. The quality of debate is always frank and illuminating and there is plenty of opportunity to have your say.

The proposals in the Strategy are transformative and I do expect more consultations on other aspects of the Strategy in the coming months. I hope those attending the Resourcing the Future 2019 conference are vocal so we all benefit from the radical changes set out and their subsequent consultations and ensure we avoid unintended consequences.

CIWM Media Centre