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25 Year Environment Plan: The breakdown

Jan 11, 2018

SOURCE: 25 Year Environment Plan, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

A new policy paper was published today, by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Setting out what the UK government are going to do to improve the environment over the next 25 years.

Summary:

The policy paper sets out the government's targets:

  1. Clean air
  2. Clean and plentiful water
  3. Thriving plants and wildlife
  4. A reduced risk of harm from environmental hazards such as flooding and drought
  5. Using resources from nature more sustainably and efficiently
  6. Enhanced beauty, heritage and engagement with the natural environment

The policy paper sets out the 6 key areas in which action will be focussed, which are split across 6 chapters.

CS Recycling were especially interested in Chapter 4: Increasing resource efficiency and reducing pollution and waste and Chapter 6: Protecting and improving the global environment.

Key notes from Chapter 4:

  • The government are committed to develop a new national Resource and Waste strategy to achieve their goal of zero avoidable waste by 2050. This report will be published later in 2018.
  • The government are “committed to supporting comprehensive and frequent waste and recycling collections which protect local amenity and ensure that products are recycled as much as possible, returning high quality materials back to the economy.”
  • The government will be setting out plans for a “Bioeconomy Strategy” later in 2018, looking to develop a bio-based economy and remove dependence on finite fossil resources.
  • The government are going to be seeking views on how the tax system or charges could reduce the amount of single use plastics waste.
  • Research shows that the government have invested roughly £54m of public research and development money on plastics innovation in the past 7 years.
  • At the production stage, the government will encourage producers to take more responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products.
  • By working with the waste management industry and reprocessors, the government looks to significantly increase the proportion of plastic packaging that is collected and recycled.
  • Through the Framework for Greater Consistency, WRAP is working with industry and local authorities to ensure that a consistent set of materials are collected by all local authorities.

Key notes from Chapter 6:

  • The government will provide “international leadership lead by example in tackling climate change and protecting and improving international biodiversity.”
  • They will help “developing nations protect and improve the environment by providing assistance and supporting disaster planning.”
  • They will “support and protect international forests and sustainable agriculture.”
  • And will leave a “lighter footprint on the global environment by enhancing sustainability and supporting zero deforestation supply chains.”
  • They will be reducing UK emissions from 1990 levels by at least 80% by 2050 and publishing a second National Adaptation Programme in 2018.
  • They have promised to use their “diplomacy on the international stage to encourage more ambitious global action”.
  • The government will be phasing out unabated coal-fired electricity by 2025.

Our expert comments:

CS Recycling Managing Director, Craig Curtis, commented “After seeing how quickly China made changes to it's policies on waste import, a 25 year plan seems a little long winded to reform our own policies. Although the general basis of the policy paper sets the UK's sights in the right direction, our environment needs reform sooner rather than later.

“On a positive note, the entire policy paper does indicate the deep level of interest this government has taken in the global and national environment, which is wholly motivating as key contributors to circular economy. We are looking forward to seeing the subsequent policies promised within the paper including new national Resource and Waste strategy and Bioeconomy Strategy””

Read the full policy paper:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/673203/25-year-environment-plan.pdf

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