Defra has released the Consistency in Collections consultation 6 weeks after the launch of the Extended Producer Responsibility and Deposit Return Scheme Consultations.
The consultation is asking for input on the proposal for free garden waste collections for all households, alongside changes to frequency in collections and proposed food waste collections. The proposals mean that councils will have to provide every household and business with a plastic, paper and card, glass, metal and food waste collection service. These will be financially supported by the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) measures and polluter pays principle.
The roll-out of changes will be aligned to the Extended Producer Responsibility timeline, which will begin a phased introduction in 2023. The proposals are set to move the UK towards ambitious recycling targets and introduce statutory guidance on new ‘minimum service standards’ for waste and recycling collections – subject to an assessment of affordability and value for money.
Whilst not as extensive as the Extended Producer Responsibility consultation, The Consistency in Collections document contains 79 questions for stakeholders to respond to.
With only 8 weeks to respond to this latest consultation, Charlotte Briggs, Policy and Engagement Lead at Clarity Environmental, expressed her concern over the timings.
“The industry has waited a year for this second round of consultations to be released. Whilst these delays are understandable as a result of the impacts of covid-19, the result is that stakeholders now have only 10 week or eight weeks to respond, with little understanding for the pressures many businesses are currently facing.
“It is vital that as many stakeholders as possible respond to the consultations to ensure that we can implement EPR and Consistency in Collections measures in a cohesive manner. We must use this opportunity to enable the industry to thrive and move closer to a circular economy; the best way to achieve that is to ensure measures are not rushed, and that stakeholders work together to find a solution that works for all, whilst delivering positive outcomes for the environment.”