The paper proposes the instigation of a designated unit to advise on waste and resource policies within government, acting as a centre of expertise and driving forward the industry’s case for a circular economy.
The paper has been initiated by the Material Security Working Group, supported by key players in the sector, including the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Friends of the Earth and the Resource Association.
If this were to come to fruition, it would see the waste agenda transferred from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to the Department of Business, Skills and Innovation (BIS), following a long standing debate on how best to reap the economic potential of secondary materials.
This has come up against opposition from critics claiming that taking waste policy away from Defra would separate it from other environmental policies and have detrimental environmental consequences. An opposing report by the Institute for Public Policy Research advises establishing the ORM within Defra would be a more effective solution.
Whichever side of the debate you sit on regarding the management and location of an ORM, the aim is mutual; to establish a unit dedicated to improving resource efficiency in both an environmentally and economically sustainable way and put resource management firmly on the political agenda.
As the election debate heats up, we watch with interest at how much importance will be placed on the waste and resource agenda by political parties. What waste and recycling issues would you like to see driven forward by the new government? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, or via twitter.