This section highlights the main environmental drivers in planning, establishing and maintaining a waste prevention plan.
In writing your local authority waste prevention plan, the first stage of the process should be to determine the drivers for waste prevention in your area.
Environmental policy drivers
A list of waste legislation with a short description for each is available here.
In particular, the Landfill Directive (Directive 1999/31/EC) sets biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) diversion targets and the revised Waste Framework Directive has set a target to recycle 50% of waste from households by 2020.
National waste policy drivers
The Government Review of Waste Policy in England (and the associated Action Plan) published in 2011, places a priority on waste prevention in line with the waste hierarchy as part of a sustainable approach to the use of materials and the need to decouple waste growth from economic growth.
Key actions from the Waste Review and Action Plan include:
- Building on existing voluntary responsibility deals (packaging) and agreeing a new one with the Hospitality and Food Service sector. This was launched in June 2012.
- Exploring options for improving consumer confidence in product durability and the reliability of re-used products.
- Testing innovative ways to encourage people to keep products for longer or extend the life of products including through a pilot project.
- Supporting partnership development between businesses and civil society organisations to make full use of products at end of first life and increase re-use activity.
- Establishing with local authorities and civil society groups whether there are opportunities for re-use collection facilities to be provided at civic amenity sites.
- Investigating provision of a database of repair and re-use services for consumers and businesses.
A waste prevention programme for England was published by the Government in December 2013. The programme;
“...sets out the government’s view of the key roles and actions which should be taken to move towards a more resource efficient economy. As well as describing the actions the government is taking to support this move, it also highlights actions businesses, the wider public sector, the civil society and consumers can take to benefit from preventing waste”.
Of particular interest to local authorities are:
- ‘Summary of existing measures’, which summarises existing activities in England which aim to, or have resulted in waste prevention, including actions taken by local authorities.
- ‘Prevention is better than cure: the role of waste prevention in moving to a more resource efficient economy’, which sets out the waste prevention programme for England. Specifically for local authorities, the plan recommends several areas of good practice on waste prevention.