Posts Tagged ‘WRAP’

Welsh councils encouraged to reveal end markets

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

The Welsh Assembly Government is urging councils to divulge where their recyclable materials are sent for reprocessing after rejecting proposals to make this a legal obligation.

Jane Davidson, environment minister, WAG

Jane Davidson, environment minister, WAG

 We must stop thinking of waste as something we need to dispose of and start thinking of it as a resource

 
Jane Davidson, environment minister, WAG 

The WAG is encouraging the 22 local authorities in Wales to make use of amendments to the waste database WasteDataFlow to report a range of end markets for recovered material – as opposed to just one destination as was the case in the past.

The mechanism to do this will be also be available to councils in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland when it comes into effect to report data for the period October to December 2010. This data will be made available in March 2011.

The WAG had previously considered proposals to make local authorities legally obligated to report end markets for material to encourage transparency and encourage material to be reprocessed locally.

However, plans tabled by Assembly Member Nerys Evans in February 2008 were criticised for the potential cost involved and loss of competitive advantage (see letsrecycle.com story).

The new amendments to WasteDataFlow have no binding obligation for councils to report the outcomes.

A spokeswoman for the WAG told letsrecycle.com that councils would be “encouraged” to make use of the opportunity as there is “no big stick” in the form of penalties backing up the initiative.

Environment minister Jane Davidson, who had supported Ms Evans’ attempts to drive councils to reveal end markets, welcomed this latest move to encourage councils to offer greater transparency over their recycling.

She said: “We must stop thinking of waste as something we need to dispose of and start thinking of it as a resource. By keeping as much as possible of this waste in Wales local authorities can generate much-needed funds, while Welsh industries won’t need to look overseas for raw materials.

“It is still better to recycle overseas than to landfill at home. But it is greener and makes more financial sense to process recycling here in Wales where Welsh local authorities, businesses and jobs can benefit.”

Reporting

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WAG

Proposals for greater transparency around recycling appeared again in the Wales Municipal Waste Sector Plan – which is intended to feed into the Towards Zero Waste strategy for Wales. In the Sector Plan, it was identified that there was a need for local authorities to “report more accurately”.

Under the previous WasteDataFlow system, councils had to report the final destination of their waste which was categorised by facility type. However, under the new system, councils will be able to put a company and site name against the end location for the material in the question.

The WAG, Environment Agency Wales and the Welsh Local Government Association are working closely with local authorities to help them to make the most of the new system.

Wales proposes 7p charge for single-use bags

Monday, June 7th, 2010

The number of single use carrier bags used in Wales looks set to plummet under Welsh Assembly Government proposals announced today (June 4) to introduce a seven pence charge for them from Spring 2011.

 However, campaign groups have attacked the proposal, claiming existing voluntary agreements and recycling initiatives would have a better environmental impact than the planned tax.

 

Wales proposes 7p charge for single-use bags

Wales proposes 7p charge for single-use bags

The announcement of proposals for the tax on single-use carrier bags come as the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) looks to reduce the over 400 million carrier bags currently distributed in the retail sector in the country.

Welsh environment minister Jane Davidson will today launch a second consultation on the proposed tax today (June 4) at the Hay Festival for literature and arts, in a bid to gauge responses to the proposed seven pence charge.

Under the proposals, a seven pence charge would be placed on bags from Spring 2010. It had been anticipated that the WAG would look to introduce a tax of between five and 15 pence per bag under a four-month consultation launched in June 2009 (see letsrecycle.com story).

Consultation

The second round of consultation, which closes on August 2 2010, is also seeking views on whether there should be exemptions for certain types of bags used to carry unpackaged food or pharmacy medicines and whether there should be a voluntary agreement with retailers to ensure profits from the charge are passed to environmental or community projects.

Commenting on the proposed charge, Ms Davidson said: “Carrier bags are an iconic symbol of the throwaway society in which we live. Whilst I know that reducing our use of single use carrier bags is not going to solve all our environmental problems, the charge delivers an important message about the need for us to live much more sustainable lives.

“I believe the seven pence charge is high enough to encourage consumers to change their shopping habits but not so high that it will stop impulse shopping or create a significant burden when we have forgotten reusable bags.

“I am confident that the Welsh public will embrace the carrier bag charge and see it as positive step towards preserving our beautiful countryside and helping Wales to reduce its carbon footprint.

A study undertaken by environmental consultancy AEA in October 2009 claimed that there was “good evidence” for Wales to introduce a charge, and added that the WAG should follow an example set by the Republic of Ireland with its Plastax Levy in 2002 (see letsrecycle.com story).

Reuse

Responding to the WAG proposal, the Carrier Bag Consortium (CBC) – an alliance of carrier bag manufacturers – hit out at the proposed levy and claimed that the Welsh Assembly Government was “ignoring the science” by proceeding with plans for the charge.

A spokesman for the organisation told letsrecycle.com: “We don’t believe that there is any such thing as a ‘single-use’ carrier bag, as is claimed by the Welsh Assembly Government, as we know from Defra statistics that 80% are reused at least once for something or other, for things like bin bags.”

The spokesman also pointed to a voluntary agreement put in place by WRAP with retailers over the past two years, which saw single-use carrier bag distribution fall by 48% compared to 2006 levels (see letsrecycle.com story).

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“We know the number of bags being wasted and we know that people have been made to think about whether they need a bag, which is the primary principle for the tax being given by the Welsh Minister,” he said.

Furthermore, the spokesman identified the growing number of recycling points at major supermarkets, which he said now totalled “over 3,000”, which allow shoppers to deposit used bags into a dedicated container for recycling. The spokesman stressed: “What this will do is not help the environment at all.”

Source: http://www.letsrecycle.com

Welsh minister supports Every Can Counts

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Welsh environment minister Jane Davidson has given her backing to the drinks can recycling campaign Every Can Counts and encouraged businesses and public sector organisations across Wales to follow the example set by the scheme.

 

Environment minister Jane Davidson with members of the IPS Green Team promoting the Every Can Counts campaign

Environment minister Jane Davidson with members of the IPS Green Team promoting the Every Can Counts campaign

 

 
 

The campaign, which was launched in October 2008, is aimed at capturing both steel and aluminium beverage cans away from households and is run by aluminium recycling sector trade organisation, Alupro with backing from WRAP, UK Can Makers and Beverage Can Recycling Europe. 

Its intention to help capture 30,000 tonnes-a-year of aluminium beverage cans and 8,000 tonnes-a-year of steel beverage cans, was endorsed in England by former minister for waste and recycling Jane Kennedy in February 2009 (see letsrecycle.com story).

The Every Can Counts campaign is working with the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) and government-funded resource management service Envirowise Wales to roll-out the scheme in Welsh public sector organisations.

Envirowise is promoting the campaign as part of its public sector waste minimisation campaign (PSWMC), which is funded by the WAG and encourages sustainable waste management practices.

Under the arrangement, the campaign is trying to get all public sector organisations in Wales to work towards reducing waste generated as a result of their day-to-day operations.

Envirowise is managed by AEA Technologies and Serco Limited, however, a contract to manage the service is currently being re-let following the merger of existing waste and recycling programmes into one delivery body under WRAP in April 2010 (see letsrecycle.com story).

Campaign

Ms Davidson visited the offices of Identity and Passport Service (IPS) in Newport, South Wales on Monday (May 24) to show her support for the drinks can recycling campaign.

The IPS has adopted the Every Can Counts campaign to complement its existing recycling programme and encourage recycling among its 365-strong staff, with funding from the PSWMC enabling it to produce promotional material to share throughout the organisation.

Ms Davidson, said: “I am very impressed by the recycling efforts of the Identity and Passport Service and would like to congratulate the staff on their achievements so far.”

She added that the scheme exemplified what could be achieved by workplace recycling and said: “I hope their success will encourage other organisations to take their recycling efforts to the next level.”

Rick Hindley, of Every Can Counts, said: “The range of programmes we are now working with demonstrate the flexibility of Every Can Counts and how it can effectively increase the pro-environmental behaviour of employees. It’s extremely positive to witness how the Identity and Passport Service is implementing the programme and to see it making a difference straight away.”

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Every Can Counts

WAG

And, Ms Davidson said that the forthcoming ‘Towards Zero Waste’ strategy, which is set to be published next month, would look to build on recycling away from the household in order to reach its proposed target of recycling or composting 70% of municipal waste by 2025 (see letsrecycle.com story).

She explained: “Later this spring I will be launching our waste management strategy ‘Towards Zero Waste’ which will set out our ambitions of becoming a high recycling country by 2025 and a zero waste country by 2050. Dramatically improving recycling at work wll be key to helping us achieve these ambitions.”