Legislation Update – Spring 2017

14th April 2017 Posted by

This is the spring 201 legislation update, in which we look at a number of key pieces of legislation, government and industry news, and what it means for our customers.

Industrial Strategy: Government green paper

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
is consulting on a green paper on the UK’s Industrial Strategy.

Entitled Building our Industrial Strategy, the paper sets out a plan to improve living standards and economic growth, by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country. The paper highlights the role that resource efficiency and waste management will play within the Industrial Strategy. The consultation ended on 17 April 2017.

Packaging targets to 2020

Defra has consulted on proposed recycling targets for paper, steel, aluminium and wood packaging up to 2020. The existing business targets for 2013-2017 were set in 2012, but further goals will need to be set up to the end of the decade, under the terms of the Packaging Directive.

The Spring Budget of 2017 announced the Government’s decision on new recycling targets from 2018 to 2020, which will see paper move to 75 per cent, aluminium to 64 per cent, steel to 85 per cent and wood packaging to 48 per cent. Targets for overall packaging recycling will increase to 75.4 per cent and for recovery to 82 per cent by 2020.

New Carbon Trust certification scheme

The Carbon Trust has introduced a Standard for Zero Waste to Landfill which recognises an organisation’s achievements in reducing its environmental impact through actively diverting its non-hazardous waste streams from landfill by reducing waste, finding ways to reuse materials, increasing recycling or sending waste to energy recovery. The new standard aims to provide a robust framework for verifying zero-waste-to-landfill claims, which is fully aligned with the methodology of the existing Carbon Trust Standard for Waste.

Landfill Tax

HMRC has published proposed changes to the definition of taxable disposal, and on the nature and volumes of hazardous material listed in the Landfill Tax (Qualifying Material) Order 2011, which attract the lower rate of Landfill Tax. The amendments will be introduced as part of the Finance Bill 2017, whereby a taxable disposal will be redefined for Landfill Tax purposes, so that any material disposed of at a landfill site will be taxable unless expressly exempt.

In the Spring Budget of March 2017 the Treasury confirmed forward landfill tax rates. From 01 April 2017 the rate for standard material is £86.10 per tonne, with the lower rate of £2.70 per tonne. From 01 April 2018 these rates will be £88.95 and £2.80 per tonne respectively. The Budget documents also announced a consultation on imposing landfill tax on the illegal disposal of waste.

The value of the Landfill Communities Fund for 2017- 2018 will remain unchanged at £39.3 million and the capita on contributions by landfill operators will be increased to 5.3 per cent.

RDF definition to be adopted

Defra will be adopting an updated definition for refuse-derived fuel (RDF) trialed within the industry for six months. The aim of the definition is to help the Environment Agency regulate the RDF sector so that any waste described as RDF is legitimate and has a definite end-user. This will help address cases of waste described as RDF being abandoned or causing environmental problems such as leaching, after being stockpiled for long periods. The definition is as follows:

“Refuse derived fuel (RDF) consists of residual waste that complies with the specifications in a written contract between the producer of the RDF and a permitted end-user for the thermal treatment of the waste in an energy- from-waste facility or a facility undertaking co-incineration such as cement and lime kilns. The written contract must include the end-user’s technical specifications relating as a minimum to the calorific value, the moisture content, the form and quantity of the RDF.”

The RDF Industry Group is leading work on an ‘RDF Code of Practice’ to ensure that suppliers of RDF meet the quality requirements of off-takers.


Each quarter, the Source legislation update compiles a round-up of emerging policy and legislation, from the UK and EU, which could have an impact on recycling and waste management practices.

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