Manufacturers Must Reduce Waste

The wheels are turning to push through the latest environmental legislation that will make suppliers think twice about their manufacturing processes as well as the waste that is produced from their products. After all, the environment was a hot topic in the recent general election and now it’s time for the politicians to put their money where their mouths are!



Why do we need a new Environmental Bill?

Currently, it’s thought that that 67% of plastic waste in the UK comes from product packaging and with more than 90% of UK businesses not doing their bit to recycle. This is damaging our natural surroundings and giving businesses that don’t look after their own waste a bad name.

Confusion concerning domestic recycling collections has been blamed for the drop in UK household recycling from 45.2% in 2017 to 44.7% in 2018.

Without the introduction of new legislation, waste will continue to increase.

Plastic Waste Production in UK*
2014 4.9 million tonnes
2018 5.2 million tonnes (estimated)
2030 6.3 million tonnes (forecast)
2018 – 2030 + 21% (forecast)

What is the new Environmental Bill?

The new Environmental Bill calls for more durable, recyclable product design, as well as tighter monitoring and digital tracking of waste transit and disposal. Businesses not complying will be prosecuted and fined.

Current waste legislation is directed by the EU, so Brexit could mean that the UK waste disposal rules will fall behind the rest of Europe. Other countries with higher standards may not want to trade with UK-businesses and our standards of living may fall. The new bill will create an Office for Environmental Protection to ensure that the UK government stays in line with, if not ahead of, the rest of Europe.

Legislation will not only cover businesses but also mean that local councils have to provide more effective and simple recycling for households in the whole of the UK.

The National Assembly for Wales is also currently debating proposed environmental regulations that will help businesses to reach a target of 70% waste recycling by 2025. These rules will make landfill and the incineration of recyclable waste illegal, with a promise from Welsh Authorities to prosecute offenders for criminal offences.

What will be the outcome of this new Environmental Bill?

Sticking to the new guidelines will:

  • reduce the amount of waste produced

  • give businesses who recycle a better reputation

  • promote a good reputation to prospective clients and employees

  • lower costs through reduced consumption and cheaper waste disposal costs.

Working alongside the existing Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, which aims for a 2030 recycling target of 55% plastic packaging, 75% glass and 85% paper and cardboard, the new Environment Bill will put pressure on manufacturers to separate and recycle waste for a better, greener future for us all.

Under the new bill Environment Bill, we’ll find more environmental initiatives, such as

  • increased incentive for producers to separate and recycle waste

  • deposits for returning re-usable products, like glass bottles

  • charges for all single use plastics, similar to the carrier bag scheme

  • simplified and standardised kerbside recycling schemes that are the same for every region

When will the new Environmental Bill come into effect?

The new legislation was originally on track to become an Act of Parliament on the 31st December 2020. However, when a general election was called, all parliamentary actions were halted, so we are currently waiting for the bill to be considered by the new government.

In the meantime, any businesses introducing the manufacturing and recycling procedures recommended by the bill will still experience cost savings by reducing the use of unnecessary raw materials and lowering their waste disposal costs.

How can phs Wastekit help with the new Environmental Bill?

New recycling targets can be reached with help from experienced waste disposal providers, such as phs Wastekit. We can advise on any new legislation, ensuring that your business keeps up to date and avoids any penalties. Our free Wastesaving Audit will identify areas in which your business could benefit from plastic or cardboard balers and compactors, allowing your business to effectively sort and store recyclable waste until it is sent for recycling.

We can also inform you of industry-wide projects, such as the Holy Grail, which is developing watermarks that can only be seen under ultraviolet light, and aims to make identifying recyclable plastic easier, reducing time and effort required to sort waste and increasing recycle rates.

All sizes of businesses will be targeted with the new Environmental Bill. In fact, many of the largest manufacturers are already supporting various waste reducing initiatives in order to avoid penalties for generating waste, when and if the legislation progresses.

References:

*https://www.wwf.org.uk/sites/default/files/201803/WWF_Plastics_Consumption_Report_Final.pdf

https://www.letsrecycle.com/news/latest-news/producers-to-pay-full-costs-bill-confirms/

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2221072-uk-governments-post-brexit-environment-bill-comes-in-for-criticism/


https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8712

https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/companies-recycling-policy/54334/

Resources and Waste Strategy 2018, by introducing new powers and amending existing legislation.

The Bill covers areas such as extended producer responsibility; a deposit return scheme; charges to be applied for specified single-use plastics (not just carrier bags); consistent kerbside recycling collections; and, requirements for certain businesses and public bodies to present material for recycling.



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