A new government waste strategy has vowed to put legal onus on businesses and manufacturers to foot the bill of their own waste.
Defra Secretary Michael Gove unveiled the plans this week as part of the Resources and Waste Strategy, suggesting the existing complicated and ‘confusing’ recycling system would be simplified, allowing a more consistent approach throughout England to help cut littering and fly-tipping.
The document said budget cuts in local authorities and the changing opening times of local tips had boosted industry fears of an increase in fly-tipping, but admitted it wanted to ensure any charges applied to non-household waste were ‘fair and transparent’.
The report promised to create a web-based ‘fly-tipping toolkit’ – hosted by the National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group – to tackle how local authorities can set up and run an effective fly-tipping partnership; how to use new technology to report fly-tipping; and how to deal with fly-tipping associated with unauthorised encampments.
It will also offer advice on how to present robust cases to the courts to ensure tougher penalties, including higher fines, more community sentences where fines are not sufficient, and in some cases prison sentences.
CLA President Tim Breitmeyer said: “The Government has shown it is serious about cracking down on waste by introducing tougher penalties for fly-tipping and by helping to reduce the amount of food sent to landfill.
“The creation of the Joint Unit for Waste Crime will help co-ordinate action between groups but it is critical adequate resources are available to support future action on waste crime work.
“Farmers and land managers are up for the challenge of helping to clean up our environment, although not at their own cost.”
A move to eliminate avoidable plastic waste should also help leave the environment in a better state than it was found, Mr Gove said, with other options to minimise ammonia emissions and how to recycle agricultural plastic.
Mr Gove said: “We will cut our reliance on single-use plastics, end confusion over household recycling, tackle the problem of packaging by making polluters pay, and end the economic, environmental and moral scandal that is food waste.”