What's on the industry's Christmas list in 2017?

Written by: David Burrows | Published:

Whether they've been naughty or nice this year, RWW spoke to key industry figures to find out what's topping their Christmas lists.

Peter Jones, Eunomia senior consultant

The best Christmas present I could receive this year would of course be wrapped in recycled paper, and have the minimum necessary amount of packaging. Inside, there would be a commitment from the major companies placing packaging on the UK market to source a gradually increasing share of their raw materials from packaging recycled in the UK – and to enter into long-term contracts at sustainable prices to ensure security of supply.

Ray Georgeson, Resource Association chief executive

My Christmas wish would be to see our government wholeheartedly embrace the importance of resource productivity, recycling and home market development (demand-pull measures) by rejuvenating the nation’s approach to supporting manufacturing using high quality recyclates.

To do this through a strong presence in the Industrial Strategy and the forthcoming review of Resources and Waste Strategy would send a very positive signal and, done well, could give the longer-term confidence our industry needs to invest and continue to develop our recycling infrastructure with an emphasis on quality, separate collection and longer-term sustainability.

David Newman, Bio-based and biodegradable industries association managing director

The UK is losing out on important new industrial technologies developing globally. Industrial biotechnologies can produce materials (bioplastics, biolubricants, biopesticides, biochemicals for cosmetics, pharma, coatings, paints and so on) and energy ( biogas) with lower GHG emissions and make products which raise environmental standards so we all live more healthily, resolving challenges we face globally and nationally (climate change, sustainable development, energy resilience).

These industries are disruptive because they sometimes substitute existing entrenched companies and their products. To introduce them, we have to create markets and this means raising standards to make change happen. Government action is therefore fundamental as policies make change, create new markets, raise environmental standards.

I would like a very ambitious Bioeconomy Strategy and 25 Year Environment Plan that recognises how new jobs, better quality life and enhanced exports can be achieved with industrial biotechnologies. One example- to introduce obligatory food waste collections in England, a clear signal in favour of a new industrial strategy.

Adam Read, Suez UK external affairs director

I will give you a few:

My fairy godmother providing (via Defra) Some clear guidance on how the UK Government they will help solve the short term crisis following international commodity markets and Chinese policy.

Santa Claus delivering me certainty on a trade deal post BREXIT so we know how much tax will be added to FDF exports, so we can plan for Plan B

An elf or two providing an agreed position on the residual (and recycling) capacity gap that we need to close.

Steve Morgan, Recoup technical manager

“Adopt the Circular Economy Package? What legislation will the UK adopt post-Brexit? The impact on exports from the Chinese National Sword campaign? Development of UK reprocessing infrastructure? Most effective methods of collection to increase quality and quantity from home and on the go? The role of Extended Producer Responsibility? Consumer education and communications?

My one wish would be for certainty – ambitious but sound and financially backed legislation and policy followed by practical action. Of course, including a dedicated fund to allow Recoup to continue to lead plastic recycling and do its job as effectively as possible.”

Charlotte Morton, ADBA chief executive

‘Many developers of anaerobic digestion plants could have a much more relaxing Christmas if the government were to confirm tariff rates for the Renewable Heat Incentive prior to the legislation being introduced to Parliament in the new year.

This lack of certainty is hindering investment in a sector that is crucial to reducing the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and that with the right support could power 30% of the UK’s homes, bringing down energy costs – which would be a lovely Christmas present for those struggling with high energy bills this festive season, too.’


Colin Church, CIWM chief executive

“As the future resource and waste policy takes shape in 2018 through the Defra 25-year Environment Plan and the new Resources and Waste Strategy, perhaps the most pressing issue to be debated is the stimulation of market demand for recyclable materials.

Topics on the agenda for all sector stakeholders and government policy officials must include how Extended Producer Responsibility can be used to reward those producers who ‘close the loop’ on materials through the use of recycled content, what opportunity there is to boost the UK’s domestic reprocessing capacity and end market demand, and what further measures are needed to ensure that the UK can maintain access to export markets that are no longer interested in taking our poor quality materials.”




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