The IWFM has submitted a response to the public consultation on consistency in household and business recycling in England.
The consultation will prepare the ground for legislation forming part of the government’s commitment to move towards a circular economy and net zero emissions.
The institute supports the government’s wider aims of raising recycling levels, increasing the quantity and quality of recycled materials, and reducing what is sent for energy recovery or to landfill – cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The institute believes that the workplace and facilities management sector has a vital role to play in contributing towards greater recycling rates and ensuring that the circular economy becomes business as usual. Therefore, its response supported the government’s strategic direction and the objectives of the consultation, particularly on the definition of recyclable waste materials to eliminate confusion and provide greater clarity for those involved in waste management.
But although the institute had anticipated the consultation, it suggested that now is not the time to consider some of the detailed proposals or the timescales for their implementation, given the huge changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic in the way that we work and live.
In its submission, the IWFM contends that new ways of working – the extent, permanence and impact of which are unknown – would greatly influence the volume of waste generated in business premises (and in households). Given this uncertainty, it does not believe that decisions over resources and waste infrastructure should be taken now, as they could vary significantly in the near future.
It also suggests that many businesses, especially SMEs and micro-businesses, are fully focused on their post-pandemic recovery and might not yet be in a position to consider fully the consultation proposals and provide insight to help inform future government policy and legislation.
Ann Beavis, a member of the Sustainability SIG and head of sustainable development at Crown Workspace, compiled Ithe institute’s consultation response.
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