Naughty or nice?

Has he been? I’m beginning to think that the waste industry is on Santa’s naughty list as the long awaited strategy has yet to be delivered, and also starting to wonder if it will be here in time for Christmas, let alone 2018. 

I was hoping that it would have been launched before our North West annual LARAC/CIWM event which was held at Saica Paper on 22nd November. Robert Vaughan from DEFRA came up north especially to give us an update, but with the actual strategy still tucked away in the North Pole somewhere, Robert could only give us a flavour of what was yet to come.  

Robert stated they were still aiming for December for publication of the strategy (although I did notice that the slide covering that did not state which year!) and he gave an overview of what the policy implications were in the strategy. As we know, the strategy will be followed by various consultations on DRS, EPR, Packaging Reform, consistency and extending/increasing the plastic bag tax. As ever, it was really good to see the North West event was well attended, and the presentations were well received and generated a lot of discussion. The slides from the day are available in the North West members’ area of our website.  

Last week I was in London for the AGM of the On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) board, as LARAC is an owner of OPRL. Having previously spoken about OPRL and the need to streamline the information on packaging so that consumers are not confused, I was very pleased to hear that an app has been developed that uses barcodes to identify the type of packaging and where it can be recycled using the WRAP LARSU database. If this takes off then we, as LAs, will need to make sure our information on the WRAP database is kept up to date so that our residents are directed to correct recycling systems.  

This is also my last LOL contribution of 2018, in my first year as Chair, and the year has flown by. It has definitely been a very busy year and I feel another one lies ahead. Thank you for your continued support of LARAC, and we will continue to work tirelessly on your behalf. And finally I would like to wish you all the best of the season and I hope for a prosperous, and strategy-filled, 2019!