A team of organisations including ADBA, CIWM, ERA, and ESA have signed a letter urging Michael Gove to set out a long-term policy and framework for waste management across the UK.
The letter urges the newly appointed Secretary of State to “build on the foundations” previously laid by the UK’s membership to the EU.
The Trade Association Group (TAG) also called for the Government to take “urgent action” to reverse the decline in recycling rates alongside the prevention of food waste.
Waste crime was another topic mentioned in the letter, with TAG asking policy makers to tackle escalating levels, which cost the country £600 million a year.
“We believe that improvements in resource efficiency – the way in which materials, energy, and water are used in the UK economy – should be a central theme in the Government’s industrial and environmental policies and strategies, notably the 25 Year Environmental Plan, the UK Industrial Strategy, and the National Infrastructure Assessment.”
The letter also asked for an early meeting with Mr Gove to discuss further directions regarding policy.
Earlier in the week Mr Gove said that the UK’s forthcoming would “enhance” wildlife laws and said that the UK’s laws would increase, rather than be reduced.
Speaking to BBC Farming Today, he reassured farmers that there would be no “race to the bottom” on agricultural standards:
Two things are critically important: we need to maintain, and where possible, enhance environmental and animal welfare standards.
“We have a good track record on both areas and don’t want to see either of them diluted or eroded.”
Although his statements were mostly welcomed, there is still scepticism among campaigners including Tom Burke, from the green think tank e3g who said that Gove must deliver more than words:
Watch what Gove does, not what he says.
“How will he translate the EU Habitats Directive into UK law? Who can environmentalists appeal to if the government allows development in a sensitive site? That’s a key question.
“I suspect Gove has been given a remit to ensure that the environment doesn’t become an issue in Brexit talks. But that could mean that anything that might be controversial gets buried under a torrent of fudge.”