Circular economy commitment in Industrial Strategy welcomed by industry

The waste and resources industry has responded positively to the government’s Industrial Strategy white paper, published yesterday (27 November) by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which sets out a ‘long-term vision’ for the UK’s economic future, and contains a number of commitments relevant to the sector.

The paper set out a commitment to ‘working towards a more circular economy’, to be achieved by maximising the value extracted from resources, promoting recycling and developing a stronger secondary materials market in the UK.

This commitment has been welcomed by the waste and resources industry, with Ray Georgeson, Chief Executive of the Resource Association, commenting: “It is encouraging to see government now promoting the circular economy and greater resource productivity as important features of the Industrial Strategy and we are pleased to see that our industry’s calls for greater recognition have not gone unheard.”

CIWM CEO, Dr Colin Church, added that while more detail would have been welcome, it was “reassuring” to see the government’s continued commitment to releasing a new and more in-depth strategy for waste and resources, as well as the long-awaited 25-year Environment Plan.

“These are shaping up to be absolutely key documents for our sector and the wider environment”, Church said, “and we look forward to seeing how government intends to make a reality of its desire to ‘strengthen the markets for secondary raw materials’.

“Better planning for waste and waste-derived resources around the country, especially to provide sufficient capacity of the right kind in the right place to support local economic development, is a key ask. The economic and low carbon benefits of secondary resources derived from waste could be better realised and exploited in local economic development planning.”