That was the year that was

Written by: David Burrows | Published:
Eric Pickles leaves the DCLG in May

Was 2015 a momentous year for you? David Burrows takes a look over the last 12 months, which saw food waste take up a lot of column inches in the national and trade press, a general election as well as the unveiling of the revised circular economy package

January

- Asda launches a trial selling wonky veg – and sets the tone for a year in which food waste becomes ‘the’ environmental hot topic

- The government tells the EFRA committee that it’s merely “refocusing” rather than “stepping back” on waste management policies

- The Tories claim a landfill ban on food would cost £447m; Labour backtracks on its plans to introduce one

- WRAP becomes a charity – four months earlier than planned

February

- The British Association of Biobased and Biodegradable Chemicals is formed

- Defra report shows how the waste sector generates almost £7bn for the UK economy

- Aylesford Newsprint, which recycled 13% of UK paper, closes

- Ricardo report shows how councils are coping with austerity through innovative waste management services

March

- Political support gathers for an Office for Resource Management

- NNFCC study shows AD plants number 185, with 500 more under development

- The CLG committee calls for taxes, increased fines and on-pack information after litter levels “barely improve” in a decade

April

- A provocative DCLG report suggests councils should “buy together” and save £70m

- The UK is reported to be one of the five biggest WEEE producers in the world

- Three councils begin trialling laminated pack recycling schemes

- Recycling & Waste World goes monthly

May

- The Conservatives win the election with a majority – prompting pollsters to eat their hats

- Eric Pickles (pictured above) is removed from the DCLG – prompting the waste sector to throw hats in the air

- Rory Stewart is appointed parliamentary under-secretary of state at Defra with responsibility for resource management

- Five years on, did we get the “greenest government ever? Nope.

June

- Within a month the new government has killed nine ‘green’ subsidy schemes

- Plastics Industry Recycling Action Plan is launched to meet the stretching 57% by 2017 target

- The UK will have too much capacity in its residual waste management structure by 2020, predicts consultancy Eunomia

July

- HMRC gets tough on landfill tax evasion with a new taskforce

- Huge disparity in gate fees found: some councils pay £43/t, while others receive £86/t

- The UK government “rubbishes” plans for higher EU targets on recycling

- First quarterly (and “inconsistent”) data on MRF input and puts is published

August

- Figures for 2014 show recycling levels crept up to 44.8%, with total waste generated up 3.7% to 22.4mT

- Electrical capacity from anaerobic digestion passes 500MW mark

- Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) brands government proposals to cut renewable energy subsidies “disturbing”

- Waste contractors, foodservice operators and campaigners plea with government to deliver a litter reduction strategy

September

- UK’s most advanced glass recycling facility opens in Lanarkshire, Scotland

- Kerry McCarthy, armed already with her food waste bill, becomes shadow minister for the environment

- Suez and SLR Consulting report produces roadmap to hit 50% recycling by 2020

- New Recycle Now scheme launched to encourage more plastics recycling

- Sir James Bevan appointed as chief executive at the Environment Agency

October

- ISWA reports on the “tragic case” of the world’s huge open dumpsites

- England’s “confusing” 5p plastic bag tax comes into force

- Scotland’s environment minister announces his intention to set a food waste reduction target

- Eunomia report suggests the role of waste management in emissions abatement is massively underplayed

November

- WRAP figures show retail food waste figures are falling thanks to the Courtauld Commitment

- Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall doesn’t think so – he attacks supermarket practices in his BBC1 War on Waste series

- Food waste and marine litter reduction targets, as well as landfill bans, will not be part of the circular economy package, reports claim

- Defra and DCLG agree to 30% cuts in the spending review

December

- South Oxfordshire tops Defra’s recycling league once more

- London’s mayor comes under attack for capital’s recycling rates “going in wrong direction”

- UK waste sector welcomes new recycling targets in the circular economy package, but calls for more innovation and leadership

- Viridor wins a 25-year contract in Wales to process 95,000 tonnes of residual waste


This material is protected by MA Business Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Comments
Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.