More than two years after it was first introduced, the UK government’s Environment Act has finally received Royal Assent.
Created to outline the government’s sustainability vision, clarify environmental governance post-Brexit and map out the transition towards a more circular economy, Environment Secretary George Eustice believes the Act will deliver ‘the most ambitious environmental programme of any country on earth’.
Key provisions include legislative drivers to halt the decline of species by 2030, improve air quality, protect the health of our rivers, track deforestation and revolutionise our approach to waste management. These changes will be driven by legally-binding targets, with both the government and public bodies held to account by the newly-created Office for Environmental Protection.
Commenting on the announcement, Tom Giddings, general manager of Alupro, said: “We warmly welcome the Environment Act. We’re glad to see movement – it’s been a long time coming – and commend the government for its continued hard work and engagement with the sector throughout the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s good to see the Act address a diverse range of environmental issues and challenges, many of which have been ignored for far too long. When it comes to provisions relating to waste management, such as the introduction of a highly-functioning Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) and much-needed reforms to funding recycling in the UK through a new Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme, we’re looking forward to reading the government’s responses to its recent consultations.
“As we transition towards a new dawn of waste management, in what is being positioned as a once in a generation opportunity, we’d like to see a number of commitments and decisions agreed to help create a world-class recycling system for the UK. These should include:
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