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‘More Spirit Less Letter’ of regulations needed for UK to be more waste efficient, says ecosurety

A more practical and pragmatic approach from UK waste regulators is desperately needed to ensure the UK exceeds its waste targets at optimum cost to industry, according to leading resource efficiency specialist ecosurety.

Many waste producers and recyclers feel they cannot win either commercially or environmentally when it comes to recycling says the organisation, which represents over 1,000 members across food and drink, technology, logistics and retail sectors.

Earlier this month, ecosurety submitted opinions and evidence of unhelpful waste bureaucracy from members to the Government’s consultation on Cutting Red Tape (CRT). In July, the Business Secretary Sajid Javid vowed to cut £10bn in red tape costs from a number of sectors, among them waste.

David Burton, policy director at ecosurety says, “We don’t believe our members resent EU Directives on the handling of waste per se. Many, however, are becoming increasingly frustrated at overlaid, sometimes over-zealous, interpretations of those rules and do not believe some of the activities they are being asked to carry out result in any more waste being recycled or greater benefit to the environment.”

Relationships between producers/recyclers and Environment Agency and its equivalent representatives can vary hugely according to geographical location or region, David adds.

David concludes, “ecosurety is a huge supporter of the correct treatment of waste from packaging, manufacturing, food and technology industries. Not content with adhering to targets, we work in partnership with members to exceed them and, just as importantly, turn much of that waste into a valuable resource. Our members, however, tell us there is often rigidity at enforcement level, which simply puts off a large number from going the extra mile, because it just becomes too difficult.

“We believe the spirit, and not simply the letter of the regulations, should be embodied at ground level across the UK to encourage all organisations to reduce as much waste as possible.”

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