UK compliance scheme Ecosurety launches £1-million environmental impact fund

UK environmental compliance scheme Ecosurety has launched a £1-million fund to invest in projects that seek to reduce the environmental impacts of packaging, batteries or waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

Supporting research and innovation across the waste and recycling sector, the Ecosurety Exploration Fund will be open to companies, charities, not-for-profits and academic institutions, who will be able to access grant funding of up to £150,000 for each project.

Ecosurety hopes to support projects that tackle waste across the full lifecycle of the product, including innovative technologies, awareness campaigns, processes, materials, collaborations or research into improving existing behaviours or systems.

UK’s Resource Association to close after eight years

The UK’s Resource Association, which represented the secondary materials supply chain, has announced that it will be closing on 31 December 2019, subject to formal ratification by its member sin December.
The decision was taken by the Board of Directors in light of what the Association calls the ‘changing priorities of its members’, who have less need for the cross-sector policy work of the Association in a time of economic uncertainty.

The closure of the Association will now be ratified by members at an Extraordinary General Meeting on 10 December, where arrangements for the handover of elements of the Association’s work to partners will also be confirmed.

Conservative Party manifesto echoes Environment Bill

The UK Conservative Party’s manifesto reiterates measures proposed in its Environment Bill, including plans for extended producer responsibility (EPR) and a deposit return scheme (DRS).

One addition to such policies include a pledge to ban exports of plastic waste to non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.

The Conservatives have also pledged to introduce a tax on the manufacture and import of plastic packaging containing less than 30 per cent recycled content and to crack down on fly-tipping by increasing penalties.

Provisional quarterly data indicates 67 per cent recycling rate for Wales

Data from the Welsh Government’s latest Local Authority Municipal Waste Management Statistics suggests that Wales’ recycling rate has risen to 67 per cent between April and June 2019.

The latest quarterly figures show a four per cent rise compared to the same quarter in 2018, suggesting that Wales is on track to reach its ambitious national target of achieving recycling rates of 64 per cent by 2019/20 and 70 per cent by 2024/25. All data is provisional until official figures are published in January 2020.

Labour promises to tackle plastic crisis

The Labour Party’s 2019 manifesto has pledged to address the UK’s plastic crisis.

The manifesto contains a number of proposals including ending the export of plastic waste, backing a deposit return scheme for drinks bottles, encourage more sustainable design and manufacture by introducing an extended producer responsibility regime for packaging.

The party states that it will look to the example of Wales for how to improve recycling across the UK, and will restore local authority spending to pre-2010 levels and introduce rural-proofing to ensure that all laws, policies and programmes consider the impact on rural communities.