Press Statement
15th October 2019

CIWM welcomes ‘landmark’ Environment Bill 

CIWM has welcomed the publication today of the Environment Bill, following its inclusion in the Queen’s Speech yesterday (14th October 2019).

At an overarching level, the Bill, which runs to 244 pages, sets out a framework for future environmental ambition and accountability and puts the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan on a statutory footing. It includes proposals to create an Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) that will provide a governance and enforcement framework to replace that currently provided by the European Commission and the Court of Justice of the European Union. It also seeks to ensure that key environmental principles enshrined in various international agreements, EU Treaties and environmental legislation have a legal standing and continue to underpin environmental law and policy-making in England for devolved issues and UK-wide for reserved matters. 

The Bill also contains proposals and enabling powers across four environmental priority areas – nature and biodiversity, air quality, water, and resources and waste – and is critical to the delivery of a range of policy proposals currently being developed and consulted on with the resources and waste sector.

“The Bill contains the enabling powers needed to deliver the ambitious policy measures set out in the Government’s resources and waste strategy – from Deposit Return Scheme proposals and Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging and other waste streams through to future resource efficiency standards for products and clearer labelling on packaging so consumers know what they can recycle. It also includes powers to deliver a step change in the provision of waste data and strengthen the regulatory regime to crack down on waste crime,” says Pat Jennings, CIWM’s Head of Policy, Knowledge & External Affairs. 

“It ensures that key environmental principles that have underpinned the legislatory framework for the resources and sector for over two decades – including the polluter pays principle and the precautionary principle – sit at the heart of decision making across government in the future and commits to the development of legally binding environmental targets. It also lays the foundations for a new and robust governance framework through the OEP to uphold environmental and climate change law and policy commitments after EU exit.”

“While the future of the Bill remains uncertain in the current political climate and there are still important points of detail to be clarified, particularly around the OEP’s independence and funding, the publication of the Bill is a clear and welcome signal that the environment remains at the top of the political and public agendas. It is the result of a prolonged period of hard work by policy officials and stakeholders across the environmental sector to ensure that the UK has a robust and ambitious legal and policy framework in place to protect and improve our environment in the future.”

Further analysis and detail on the Environment Bill will be available to CIWM Members shortly.


Useful links:

Notes to Editors: 

1. CIWM is the leading professional body for the resource and waste management sector representing around 5,600 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

Press contact:

Pat Jennings
Head of Policy, Knowledge & External Affairs
Tel: 01604 620426
Mob: 07912 228260