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A promise that must be kept

17th December 2014 Posted by

Yesterday (16 December 2014), the European Commission withdrew the so-called “circular economy package”, developed by the previous Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, amid cries of “shame” from MEPs assembled in the European Parliament. The package was withdrawn for two reasons: the “principle of political discontinuity”, a notion that, judging from the reaction of many MEPs during the parliamentary debate, evidently puzzled

Resources Minister Dan Rogerson unmoved by plea from Shadow Minister and EAC

5th December 2014 Posted by

Following Defra’s proposal to levy a five pence charge on single use plastic bags (see previous blog: Bag policy should be binned), the Environmental Audit Committee’s comments on this policy were debated in the House of Commons last week. Chair Joan Walley reiterated the Committee’s conclusion that Defra’s proposals were “unnecessarily complicated” and that, in persisting with exemptions for biodegradable

MEPs push for the Circular Economy Package

18th November 2014 Posted by

The new term of the European Commission has commenced with a Commission Work Programme (CWP) proposed by President Jean-Claude Juncker and First Vice President Franz Timmermans. As many waste-watchers suspected from President Juncker’s cool reception earlier, the Circular Economy Package introduced by outgoing Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik has not received an unqualified green light in the draft CWP. The so-called

New business model requires new skills

4th November 2014 Posted by

In my last blog, I talked about the way that the ‘waste industry’ was changing. This change is particularly apparent in the new types of jobs we now have to recruit for at SITA UK. The number of these new roles has steadily increased over the last three to four years, but it is now really gathering pace. So, what

The EAC and EFRA reports give Defra and the next Government a useful route map

3rd November 2014 Posted by

The Government’s response to the Environmental Audit Committee’s Inquiry Growing a Circular Economy: Ending the Throwaway Society contains the now-familiar mixture of mild ambition and platitudes that characterised its evidence before the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s Inquiry Waste Management in England. There, the Government was taken to task for ‘stepping back’ precisely at a time when vision, a

EFRA Committee reports on state of waste management in England

24th October 2014 Posted by

Defra may have hoped that fences had been mended with the waste management sector since its now infamous letter last November, which announced that it would be “stepping back from areas where there was no sign of market failure”. However, those hopes must surely have been dashed by the publication of the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The industry is changing

20th October 2014 Posted by

I will soon celebrate my 12-year stint in the ‘waste industry’, as the recycling and resource sector was once referred to. I have done a lot of interviewing recently and was asked by one of the candidates why, after more than a decade, I was still in the waste business and working for SITA UK. The answer I gave was

If young people are disengaged, whose problem is that?

17th October 2014 Posted by

The headline from a recent YouGov poll examining public attitudes towards recycling was that Britain’s so-called Facebook generation (youth aged 18-24) “are the most apathetic generation when it comes to recycling waste”. Apparently only 57 per cent of 18-24 year olds admitted to being committed recyclers, with 71 per cent thinking recycling was not their personal responsibility. In contrast, the

World Environment Day 2014

5th June 2014 Posted by

The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is “small island developing states” or SIDS, nations that are particularly vulnerable to climate change and rising seas. How might this apply to the UK, and what relevance might this have for the waste and resource management sector?

The shift in the business population reduces the size of the commercial waste market in the UK

6th May 2014 Posted by

Demographic changes in the UK have occurred not just in the general population, but also in the business population. These changes make interesting reading in terms of the future prospects for waste and resource management. Latest figures published by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills in October 2013 estimated that there were 4.9 million private sector businesses in the

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