Press Release
For immediate release

CIWM responds to reports that the Prime Minister will row back on green initiatives and the UK’s Net Zero commitments

20 Sept 2023 -

CIWM (Chartered Institution of Wastes Management) has said it is disappointed and concerned by recent media reports that the Prime Minister will row back on green initiatives and the UK’s Net Zero commitments in a speech later this week. The description of proposed recycling schemes as ‘burdensome’ is the exact opposite of what the consistent collections policy is designed to achieve and CIWM is extremely worried that this policy is under further danger of not being implemented.

CIWM highlights the ambition stated in the 2018 Resources and Waste Strategy ‘to show international leadership as something that the UK should be proud of’, but these potential announcements show nothing of the kind. The Climate Emergency is the biggest challenge any Government currently faces and policies to combat it, that help progress to Net Zero and keep resources in economic use, are not optional.

Lee Marshall, CIWM Policy & External Affairs Director, said:

“We are very concerned by stories of a government U-turn on key climate and resources policies. The proposed consistent collections policy is designed to make recycling easier, with every household being able to recycle the same materials irrespective of where they live in England. Also, contrary to some sensationalist media, it is not about giving them lots of containers. If meaningful progress is not made on consistent collections and extended producer responsibility (EPR), the UK will have missed a huge opportunity to implement a step change in the way we manage our finite resources and the future viability of our planet.”

This news comes on a day when PwC has published their latest Net Zero Index showing that the world must decarbonise 12 times faster than it has in the last 20 years to deliver the Paris Agreement target of 1.5 degrees. 

CIWM itself has pledged to achieve Net Zero by 2035 and believes this level of commitment from the sector and nationally is crucial if we are to stop global temperature rises and the environmental crises they will result in. Policies that embrace and encourage the circular economy are critical and have been shown to create jobs and add economic value. CIWM is concerned that suggesting that the UK ‘has overdelivered on confronting climate change and that other countries need to do more’ lacks the global leadership needed on climate issues.

CIWM also believes that any such announcement will also further damage investor confidence in green technology and skills, something that is starting to be seen as a result of delays to flagship environmental policies. CIWM’s work on green skills has shown how much growth potential there is in the resources and waste sector alone, but this relies on strong political leadership.


About CIWM:
CIWM (the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management) is the leading professional body for the resource and waste management sector representing over 6,000 individuals in the UK, Ireland and overseas. Established in 1898 - and now in its 125th year - 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