In February 2019 Defra set out proposals for the implementation of a new waste and resources strategy. The LGA consulted extensively with member councils on the proposals and responded to each of the consultations.
- Government will gather more information on the impact a deposit return scheme (DRS) before making a final decision on implementation. The LGA welcomes this approach. While a DRS has the potential to increase recycling and change consumer behaviour, it needs to be based on sound analysis of the cost and benefits. We look forward to further engagement with DEFRA on the impact on local authority kerbside collections and litter and fly tipping.
- Some aspects of local recycling collection schemes will become mandatory and directed by national standards. This will include a core set of dry recyclable materials and weekly collections of food waste. It is helpful that government has taken feedback from the LGA and councils on board, and will support local flexibility on how services are delivered, for example in areas where weekly food waste collections will be challenging. The LGA will continue to lobby for new burdens to be fully funded.
- We supported the principles for reform of the producer responsibility scheme, which is long overdue. We welcome confirmation that producers will have to pay local authorities for the full net cost of packaging waste. The next steps must provide clarity for local government on future funding.
- Government must step up the involvement of local government in the next stages of development. More work is required to understand and refine the reforms and we look forward to continuing engagement with Defra.
- Preventing waste is not addressed in the proposals, which deal primarily with increasing recycling. A reduction in the quantity of packaging entering the system should be an explicit aim of the Resources and Waste Strategy.