The English government’s recent consultations on waste planning and waste prevention reveal blindspots in the roles of government, business, local authorities and others. This is policy without policy content, a smokescreen for an absence of effort to set up the economy to design out waste. In particular, the opportunity of circular economy for real is yet to be noticed by government.
BlindSpot’s response to DEFRA’s waste prevention consultation (2 page pdf).
My response to the consultation for the government’s waste management pan for England. Their question was framed as saying “have we done enough to avoid getting in trouble with the EU?” No new thinking or new policies were proposed, revealing government in the role of box-ticker rather than problem-solver.
Will the Waste Management Plan for England – when combined with the location specific guidance in the updated waste planning policy- meet the requirements of Article 28 of the revised Waste Framework Directive? If not, what else is, in your view, needed?
1. A policy wake-up call. Why has the problem of waste has not been solved by 38 years of the waste hierarchy? So long as this question is omitted the country runs in a policy innovation vacuum and no real solutions can be expected.
2. A vision. The WMP does not set out the necessary vision for an economy thriving in rapid transition from linear to circular patterns of resource flows. A mention of zero waste does not make a vision. A vision must extend to how economic growth will derive in future by phasing out wastes.
3. Management tools. Planning for waste should start with the presumption that things should not become waste. The waste hierarchy merely provides a slippery slope for resources to still become waste. A suitable tool is ‘precycling’: planning for non-waste.
4. Market correction of economic externalities. Waste (including waste of non-solids causing pollution and climate change) is designed into modern economics by neglect of externalities. A suitable tool is precycling insurance. http://blindspot.org.uk/third-policy-switch/