Tomorrow we go to the polls ….

Wednesday December 11th, 2019

.. Or if you are watching this on catch up, then we have already been to the polls! Obviously, the outcome will have far bigger issues to consider and address than our own waste and resource world, but at some point, someone will have to get on with progressing waste policy and introducing another Environment Bill.Check mark

It is almost a year ago to the day that the Resource and Waste Strategy was launched, and, in some respects, it could be said we are not much further forward, but I would argue that actually we are. We know that the Government are (were) minded to introducing a DRS, that EPR with a broad full net cost definition is coming and that consistency is also on its way. While there was still a lot of detail to fill in, we had a fairly good idea of how things were shaping up and what that meant for future service design and funding.
In terms of what we do on the policy front this has been the busiest and most intense year that I can ever remember for LARAC – and I have been involved one way or another for a long time! It has not been easy. As you know, we are a small organisation, but we have worked hard to keep you informed and to help you respond to the events and consultations that have come out.
In theory, 2020 will bring more of the same, detailed big consultations on these three key policy areas and maybe others as well. To a certain extent it doesn’t matter what the result of the election is in that respect, it just may make a difference to the timing. Whenever they happen, LARAC is planning to do more of the same, briefings on the day of release, surveys, maybe more workshops and sharing draft responses with you. We have reviewed what we did this year and are seeking your views so we can improve things where you want us to. So far, overall the feedback seems positive and you found what we did helpful to you.
Before then there will be several stakeholder meetings with DEFRA and others that will help to shape some of the detail in these consultations. As always LARAC will be involved in these and its the part of our policy work that is the least visible. Often the only public output is a line in the monthly policy briefing saying we have been to a meeting, often due the nature of them we cannot even provide a meeting report. But they are so vital to the whole process. Without these we may have had an 8-week consultation period instead of 12, the definition of full net cost might not have included disposal and so on. It is difficult to quantify and always prove cause and effect, but we can be fairly sure if we didn’t attend those sorts of meeting the local government voice will be diminished.
So, once the dust settles on the election, we can start to consider what next year will bring and how the next steps in the changing waste policy landscape might start to unfold. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the festive season and get a chance to have a break away from the world of waste because 2020 could be a busy year.

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