The waste and resource sector in 2018 – hopes and fears

2nd January 2018 Posted by

Posted by Dr. Adam Read.

A new year brings anticipation and I find myself planning and looking forward to the year ahead and so, as we enter 2018, I have been listing my hopes (and fears) for the year. It goes without saying that I couldn’t have just the one hopeful wish now could I…

1. DEFRA’s Resources and Waste Strategy

Firstly, I hope that the new strategy meets our expectations and delivers a coherent policy framework that works across government departments, and sets the right ambitions for a circular economy that is deliverable yet challenging.

I fear that the government will be a little more ad-hoc and reactionary to the hot topics of the day, such as marine plastics and deposit return schemes – leaving the sector ‘disappointed’ in either the strategy’s lack of vision, or lack of supporting policy, legislation and enforcement to make the step change we all want and need.

2. Brexit

If I had  another wish, it would be that Brexit progresses faster (in any direction), so we can move beyond the uncertainty, and start to invest in the services and infrastructure needed to deliver our new strategy, whatever the targets and priorities. But, I don’t think I will be getting this wish anytime soon.

3. Collaboration

So finally, I hope that the sector and the supply chains can come together, as they have been doing in the second half of 2017. Filling gaps, agreeing common priorities, and delivering the change needed to enable the UK to be a society where resources are valued, decisions are based on the full costs and benefits, and where wastes that are produced are put to the best possible use in the interest of the UK economy.


If I get some of the above, then I will probably be happy, and I reckon number three is the most likely!

On a personal level, I hope that my SUEZ journey of discovery continues at a pace to increase my understanding and insights about the business and our markets. I hope to use that even more effectively when representing the business on UK and European working groups, when lobbying government, and when presenting at what looks like a very long list of events, workshops and webinars.

I look forward to seeing you all throughout 2018, and I trust your wishes this new year come true.

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