No consistency in consultation periods

There’s just over two weeks left to get your responses in for the EPR and DRS consultations and so I hope you are finding the LARAC draft responses useful. With the launch of Defra’s Consistency Consultation on 7 May (affecting England only), we also have a noticeably short window of opportunity to consider all three policies together. This is not ideal, and we have written to Defra to ask for an extension to all three consultations so they may be considered more fully and in accordance with their own consultation guidance which recommends 12 weeks.

Our final draft responses on EPR and DRS will be sent to members by 31 May, and I urge as many of you as possible to get some sort of response in ahead of the 4 June deadline as this is our last chance to shape the future of resources and waste management in the UK. Every response will count!

With a frustratingly limited eight weeks to consider the Consistency Consultation (closing 4 July), it almost makes the 10.5 weeks for EPR and DRS seem generous (almost!). We have had to reformulate our timetable (think we’re on version 6 at least) for talking with LARAC members, and so the 19 May webinar which was supposed to be just about EPR and DRS has now been changed to be mostly about Consistency, but with an opportunity to talk about EPR and DRS too. There will be three workshops next week on 25, 26 and 27 May for the Consistency Consultation so please do follow this link and book your place.

LARAC Conference, Exhibition and Celebration Awards 2021

And if three major policy consultations wasn’t enough to keep us busy, I am pleased to announce that in partnership with EMG, we have launched the early bird bookings for LARAC’s UK Conference and Celebration Awards scheduled to take place in Birmingham on 6 and 7 October 2021 (with a members only event on the evening of 5 Oct). We are really hoping that the conference and awards go ahead as a face-to-face event, albeit with some elements of social distancing and Covid secure practices in place. Obviously, that depends on the venue allowing us to hold the conference, but if it is cancelled by the venue, then all booking payments will be refunded. Next month we will be asking for entries for the awards, but we have already launched the scholarship application process.

LARAC Scholarship Programme
This year REPIC have very kindly sponsored 24, all expenses paid, scholarship places for conference. Applications are open until Weds 2 June, and if you apply and don’t get a place, we will allow all unsuccessful applicants to book a place at the early bird rate. The scholarship programme is for those officers who have been in the industry less than 7 years, or operational collection staff who have moved into a new role and have less than 7 years in that role, and have never attended the main LARAC conference before.

Scotland and Wales
Ahead of October, we are also hoping that our one-day Scotland and Wales Conferences will also happen. Fingers crossed we get back to some sort of normality this year.

Stay safe.