Press Release
26 November 2020

CIWM welcomes focus on major resources and waste policy reform in the Spending Review and National Infrastructure Strategy

In an initial response to the Chancellor’s Spending Review, CIWM has welcomed the announcement of £0.4 billion cash increase in core resource funding for Defra from 2020-21 to 2021-22 and the capital budget increase of £0.6 billion in cash terms next year, with one of the priorities being to support Defra to “progress with extended producer responsibility for packaging waste, introduce a deposit return scheme, and implement consistent collection of waste – including food waste – in every local authority in England by the end of this Parliament”.

Overall, including additional COVID-related funds, Defra’s core total Departmental Expenditure Limit increases from £2.7bn in 2019/20 to £5.3bn in 2020/21 and to £5.8bn in 2021/22.

“CIWM’s joint submission1 (with IOM3) to the HM Treasury in the Autumn urged the Treasury to ensure that relevant departmental settlements supported the effective and timely development and roll-out of these major policy frameworks, which have the potential to deliver a step change in recycling, product stewardship and design for waste prevention. We are pleased to see that has been acknowledged,” says CIWM’s Head of Policy, Knowledge & External Affairs Pat Jennings.

CIWM also supports other priority outcomes identified for support, including improving the environment through cleaner air and water and minimised waste and the implementation of the Environment Bill measures, including the setting of legally-binding environmental targets and the establishment of the Office for Environmental Protection.

Published alongside the Spending Review, the National Infrastructure Strategy builds on the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution and the strategic alignment of infrastructure planning and the net zero agenda is a significant step forward, along with commitments on clean economic growth and job creation. The strategy also usefully acknowledges the importance of the Government’s “wide-reaching waste reforms – including extended producer responsibility (EPR), a deposit return scheme, and consistent collection of food waste and recycling”  and the critical role that better data and tracking of waste will play in building a “high tech circular economy”.

However, there is no clear vision for the future of waste infrastructure and CIWM remains concerned that the government and the NIC continue to underestimate the importance of waste infrastructure in protecting public health and the environment, as a vital service for every other part of the economy, and through its potential contribution to supporting industry decarbonisation, job creation and the levelling up agenda.  

COVID-19 has also highlighted the essential status of sector in the context of resilience. In its infrastructure resilience report published earlier this year, the NIC excluded waste on the basis that “the solid waste sector generally has longer timescales between hazard emergence and service impact and has less interdependency with other infrastructure sectors”. 

“This assumption has been thoroughly disproved by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Pat Jennings, “and CIWM would welcome the opportunity to work with Government and the NIC to ensure that future infrastructure planning reflects and strengthens the role of the resources and waste sector in supporting a sustainable green recovery and the delivery of longer term UK-wide environmental protection, resource productivity and net zero ambitions.”

The full Spending Review can be found here and the National Infrastructure Assessment here

1 The CIWM/IOM3 CSR submission can be found here.


Notes to Editors: 

1. CIWM: CIWM is the leading professional body for the resource and waste management sector representing around 5,700 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. It uses the body of knowledge represented by its membership to inform and influence policy and regulation on resources and waste management to increase resource efficiency and productivity and promote sustainable development. More information can be found at

Press contact:

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