WRAP recycling guidelines published to help reduce contamination

The Waste and Resources Action Plan (WRAP*) have this month published new recycling guidelines to help householders understand what they can and can’t recycle, with a view to improving the quality of material in recycling collections. Although recycling rates in the UK are rising (according to Government figures released this summer), a BBC Freedom of Information request reportedly found that contamination of the materials was leading to increased rejection of materials, with the rejected loads sent to landfill or incineration. … Continued

Duty of Care obligations not being met by too many businesses

A recent study for the Environmental Services Association (ESA) has found that nearly half of the SMEs surveyed were not fully compliant with duty of care requirements imposed by the Environment Protection Act, despite trying to manage their waste correctly. Earlier research had suggested that more than half of all businesses in the UK were in default. As part of the ‘Right Waste, Right Place’ campaign, the ESA comissioned a survey of more than 1000 UK businesses, but were not … Continued

Plastic bag tax reduces usage in England

The 5p charge for plastic bags, introduced in the England in October last year, will reduce plastic bag use by around 6 billion compared to figures for 2014, according to half-yearly figures released by Defra on Saturday 20th July. This is in line with reductions seen in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland when they introduced charges in October 201, April 2013 and October 2014. The Defra press release also states that ‘more than £29 million’ has been raised for communities … Continued

Used Catalytic Converters – Changes to waste requirements

In February this year, the Environment Agency announced changes to the regulatory position on the handling, storage and treatment of used catalytic converters (cats). The changes came about because of the presence of a hazardous material in some cats and the difficulties in determining which cats contained this material (RCF matting) and which didn’t. Accordingly, all cats are now classified as hazardous (with waste code 16 01 21*) unless it can be proven that the RCF matting is not present. … Continued

Legal definition of waste guidance upated

Understanding the legal definition of waste has long been a contentious issue with more related litigation  than any other Community legislation regarding the environment, [1] but things may now be a little clearer. The government last week published updated guidance to help producers work out whether materials they no longer want or need are waste or not. The guidance, which replaces part two of the 2012 full guidance document, contains clear examples and explanations of the differing status’ that can … Continued

Remember, remember the 5th of November

is NOT for burning any old rubbish! The Environment Agency have issued their annual reminder that bonfires may be fun but should not be used for illegal waste disposal. Each year at this time, thousands or tens of thousands of bonfires are lit across the country. However, you may not be aware that you may face a fine of between £5,00 and £50,000 if you burn the wrong materials on yours. Bonfires can cause not only pollution but also, due to smoke … Continued

Circular Economy – Details expected 2 December 2015

Speaking to delegates at the Scottish Resources Conference in Glasgow today, Kestutis Sadauskas – director of the Green Economy section of the EU Directorate-General for Environment – stated that details of the revised EU Circular Economy package would be released on December 2nd. Previous proposals for an EU strategy were withdrawn last year following criticism of too great an emphasis on waste management. A consultation followed, running from May to August this year, and Mr Sadauskas revealed that responses to that consultation had highlighted … Continued

Retailer guidance on carrier bag charges updated

Defra have released an updated version of their guidance Carrier bag charges:retailers’ responsibilities.. From 5 October 2015, all large retailers (those employing 250 or more fte employees across their organisation) must charge a minimum 5p for each obligated carrier bag they provide to customers. Most single use carrier bags will be obligated, although exemptions apply for bags containing ONLY: uncooked fish, meat, or poultry; unwrapped food for consumption; unwrapped loose seeds; flowers; bulbs, corms or rhizomes; soil contaminated goods; unwrapped … Continued

Code of practice consultation – Duty of Care

DEFRA have opened a consultation on a revised Code of Practice (CoP) regarding the Duty of Care in relation to waste. The consultation, which opens today on the Consultation Hub runs until 21 September 2015 and is seeking stakeholder views several areas. The first section (questions 1-4) of the consultation asks for views on whether the CoP clearly sets out the scope, legal requirements and applicable timescales of Duty of care, with space for supporting comments. Questions 5 and 6 relate … Continued

Circular Economy – EU Consultation opens

Following the withdrawal of EU proposals for a circular economy strategy last year after fierce criticism that the strategy was too narrowly focused on waste management, the European Commission has now opened a consultation on revised proposals. The consultation specifically looks at potential barriers to developing a circular economy and asks for suggestions to overcome these barriers. A circular economy is seen as the key to ensuring greater resource efficiency and it is hoped that introducing specific legislation within the … Continued