22 November 2017
Positive news in the budget for resources and waste sector, says CIWM
Reporting on the Autumn Budget today, CIWM has said that there a number of positive announcements for the resource and waste sector, including £30 million of extra funding over the next four years to help the Environment Agency tackle waste crime and confirmation that operators of illegal waste sites will become liable for Landfill Tax from 1 April 2018.
“CIWM has worked closely with other key stakeholders in the sector to ensure that tackling waste crime remains a priority for government and that regulators are adequately resourced to tackle this rising crime of criminal behaviour that undermines the legitimate industry and blights the environment. By its own recent admission, the Environment Agency is struggling to keep up with the number of new illegal waste sites that are springing up and this additional funding is much needed,” says CIWM chief executive Dr Colin Church.
CIWM has also welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement that the Government will ‘investigate’ how the tax system and charges on single-use plastic items could reduce waste.Philip Hammond has spoken about the National Productivity Investment Fund, which provides an additional £23bn billion of investment over five years to upgrade the UK's economic infrastructure for this century. The fund will be extended for another year and expanded to be worth more than £31bn. He adds: "We are allocating a further £2.3 billion for investment in R&D (research and development) and we’ll increase the main R&D tax credit to 12%."
“There is still a long way to go, but the Chancellor’s words sends a clear signal to businesses and consumers that plastic waste is under the spotlight,” says Dr Church. “Discarded plastic items in particular have become a ubiquitous and unwelcome symbol of the damage that careless consumerism has on the environment. With the tide of public opinion turning because of issues such as marine plastic pollution, it is encouraging to see that the government is willing to act. We all want convenience but we must do more to protect the environment from the negative impact it can have as a result of irresponsible design, poor management at the point of disposal, and littering.
CIWM believes UK governments must go further than this, however, as future policy on resources and waste is shaped post-Brexit.
“Taxes, deposit return schemes and other recycling incentives must be part of a wider review of how the UK applies the ‘polluter pays’ principle and what responsibilities should be placed on producers for the environmental impact of their products, right from the design stage, through the use phase, to the opportunities for second and third lives through re-use, remanufacturing and recycling,” adds Dr Church. “The business case for better resource efficiency and productivity becomes more compelling every day – big brands do not make decisions lightly but we see the likes of Unilever setting a zero waste to landfill target across its global factory network and Coca-Cola’s European operations committing to collect 100% of packaging to ensure no litter ends up on the street or in the ocean. Others must now follow suit and take consumers with them.
Other announcements today include setting the Landfill Communities Fund for 2018-19 at £33.9 million, as per the announcement at Spring Budget 2017 that the cap on contributions by landfill operators would be set at 5.3%. And following a freeze in the Aggregates Levy rates for 2018-19 at £2 per tonne, the levy will return to being index-linked in the longer term.
An increase in the National Productivity Investment Fund and a further £2.3 billion for investment in R&D could also be welcome developments but only, CIWM believes, if more attention is paid to improving resource as well as labour productivity and to supporting innovation targeted at recovering economic value from waste.
Notes to Editors:
- CIWM (Chartered Institution of Wastes Management) is the leading professional body for the resource and waste management sector representing around 6,000 individuals in the UK, Ireland and overseas. Established in 1898, CIWM is a non-profit making organisation, dedicated to the promotion of professional competence amongst waste managers. CIWM seeks to raise standards for those working in and with the sector by producing best practice guidance, developing educational and training initiatives, and providing information on key waste-related issues. More information can be found at www.ciwm.co.uk
Head of Policy & Communications
Tel: 01604 620426
Mob: 07912 228260