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Earlier this month, the Queen outlined how the government will “lead the way” internationally through the Environment Bill, which is due to be enshrined into law during this parliamentary session.
The delayed Environment Bill contains crucial measures for the waste and recycling sector, including provision for consistency in collections, reform of the producer responsibility system for packaging and a deposit return scheme. It also sets out a ban on plastic exports to non-OECD countries.
Touching on the government’s Environment Bill, the Queen said: “My government will create and invest in new green industries to create jobs while protecting the environment. The United Kingdom is committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and will continue to lead the way internationally by hosting the COP 26 summit in Glasgow.
“Legislation will set binding environmental targets and will also be brought forward to ensure the United Kingdom has the highest standards of environment welfare.”
Whilst the re-introduction of the bill was generally welcomed, the response was mixed. Some in the sector believe the bill’s re-introduction paves the way for the necessary changes. However, others urged the government to move quickly with introducing the bill, warning it is “critical” it is not delayed any further.
For our part, we would welcome the bill’s introduction as we need clarity. There are certainly elements of it that will pave the way for necessary changes in the way we make, consume and dispose of products and their packaging. We may have reservations about some elements of the bill, but at least with the bill in place we will know what the future holds for our industry and can plan accordingly.