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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
Policy and Campaigns Manager: Cecily Spelling

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, over recent months 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 simply just plastic pollution. To reflect the broader scope of the group, members have formed the newest Link 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.

In May, 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.

The Group 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.

The Group have also met with representatives from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to discuss the future of bioplastics and compostables in the UK. The Group want to see a greater use of the precautionary approach for alternative plastic materials, an overall reduction rather than simple replacements, strong standards to control the growth of materials and improved infrastructure to sufficiently manage the increase in materials. BEIS have now published a call for evidence on standards for biodegradable, compostable and bio-based plastics which the Group will be responding to.

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

Last updated: 25 July 2019