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Resources and Waste

Link’s Resources and Waste Working Group seeks to reduce pollution of plastic, chemicals and other materials in the natural environment by advocating for a reduction and where necessary, elimination of their production.

Chair: Maddy Haughton-Boakes, CPRE
Vice-chair: Pine Eisfeld-pierantonio, WDC
Link: Cecily Spelling, Marine Policy and Campaigns Manager

Updates from the Group

Work on resources and waste has been growing over the past year as the issue of pollution from waste has risen up the political agenda. Initially this work sat within the Marine Group with a focus on marine pollution. However, the work of the members involved has become much broader, focusing on the issue of pollution from source to sea and packaging as a whole, not just plastic pollution. To reflect the broader scope of the group, members have formed Link’s newest Working Group, the Resources and Waste Group. This Group will continue to advocate for a reduction in the use of resources to change our throw-away society and reduce the damage to our environment, from source to sea.

Mostly recently, the Group have worked with Greener UK to advocate for amendments to the Environment Bill. This work will continue when the Bill returns.

The Group responded to consultations on the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), a plastic packaging tax and a consistent recycling system across England. The Group’s overarching message for these consultations and Government’s ambitions to stem the plastic tide is the need for reduction of plastics and packaging materials as a whole, rather than a focus on recycling and alternative materials e.g. bioplastics and compostables. To that end, the Group responded to a joint call for evidence from the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). This call for evidence focused on standards for bio-based plastics. The Group again used this as an opportunity to push for a reduction in all plastic production and warned of the unintended consequences of growth in bio-based alternatives. With consultations on EPR and DRS expected in Autumn this year the Group are now focusing their efforts on influencing these consultations to ensure these new policies deliver for our environment.

The Group have met with the Treasury, DEFRA and BEIS and in 2019, were invited to give evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee’s food and drink packaging inquiry session. Juliet Phillips from Environmental Investigation Agency gave evidence on behalf of Link. See a thread of the discussion on Twitter here.

For further information, contact Cecily Spelling, Link’s Marine Policy and Campaigns Manager.

Last updated: 30 April 2020