A New Department A New Agenda
DEFRA'S AIM AND OBJECTIVES CONSULTATION DOCUMENT
1. ESA is the sectoral trade association
representing the UK's managers of waste and secondary resources,
a regulated industry accounting for 0.5 per cent GDP and the turnover
of which must double by 2010 if the UK is to achieve what the
Government says it wants to deliver.
2. ESA's Members want to build an industry
less reliant on linear disposal and with greater emphasis on closed-loop
management restoring to the productive economy more of the material
and energy contained in waste.
3. Speaking to the CBI/Green Alliance last
year, the Prime Minister said he wished "to push green issues
back up the political agenda . . . and do it in constructive partnership
[with] government and business." He also outlined the "need
to use environmental resources more efficiently and to become
a low-carbon, recycling economy." ESA immediately supported
4. In contrast, nothing in DEFRA's draft
aim refers to the industry ESA represents.
5. None of DEFRA's proposed seven draft
High-Level Objectives refers to waste or secondary resource management.
(While one of the seven Objectives does refer to promoting sustainable
management of natural resources, this appears to envisage primary
rather than secondary resources). ESA's remit, 0.5 per cent of
GDP, is covered by 29 words in one note to one Objective.
6. DEFRA's proposed definition of sustainable
development makes no reference to resource efficiency or developing
the use of secondary resources.
7. There is no reference to implementing
the Landfill Directive.
8. There is no reference to the Government's
own National Waste Strategy.
9. These omissions from DEFRA's proposed
aim and Objectives document evidence low political priority for
developing waste management into resource management.
10. The Consultation Document makes it clear
that DEFRA's money will follow DEFRA's Aim and Objectives. Omission
of our industry from DEFRA's document suggests that the National
Waste strategies will remain essentially unfunded. Resources allocated
from the New Opportunities Fund and the small share of the EPCS
monies to be spent on management of waste, allocated in the 1999
spending review, cannot achieve the required improvement in recycling.
11. ESA's Members will need to invest billions
of pounds in infrastructure if the National Waste strategies are
to be achieved and the UK's existing international obligations
honoured. If ESA's Members' hopes to deliver greater environmental
sustainability and the Government's aspirations in the National
Waste Strategies are to be fulfilled, the Secretary of State needs
as a matter of urgency to signal that waste and secondary resource
management is a genuinely high priority for her new Department.
Amending DEFRA's defective draft Aim and Objectives would be a