On Thursday 30th July, the Circular Economy Package (CEP) was announced with a joint statement by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the Welsh Government and the Scottish Government. The package builds on the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy that set out a roadmap to ensure we reduce, reuse and recycle more of our resources while committing to food waste collections for all homes and suitable businesses in England by 2023. With ambitious plans to reduce waste and increase recycling rates, the CEP – that will come into law later this year – confirms waste management and recycling as a government’s priority for achieving Net Zero.
Targets to recycle 65% of municipal waste and have no more than 10% municipal waste going to landfill by 2035 have been introduced. Crucially, the package also limits the range of materials that can be landfilled and incinerated, while including a requirement that any waste which is separately collected for recycling cannot be incinerated nor sent to landfill. This will mean that any food waste that is collected for recycling will have to be recycled, preferably by AD plants since AD has been recognised as the preferred technology for managing residual food waste. The CEP will ensure that recyclable materials stop being treated as waste but are instead turned into a resource, “closing the loop” in circular economy systems.
Commenting on the Circular Economy Package, Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said:
“We are committed to increasing our recycling rates and reducing the amount of waste that is sent to landfill to create a cleaner waste industry and reduce carbon emissions.
“Through our landmark Environment Bill we will be bringing forward a raft of measures to do just that, and this new Circular Economy Package takes us yet another step forward to transforming our waste industry.”
AD has a key role to play in the decarbonisation of waste management and in the creation of a truly circular economy. ADBA will continue conversations with Government to push for the recognition of AD as the preferred technology for managing a wide range of organic wastes and not only food waste, and for such wastes to be recycled rather than incinerated or buried.