LARAC Press Release: LARAC Calls on Next Government to Prioritise Key Waste Management Reforms

Toni McNamara, LARAC Policy and Communications Lead
4 Jun 2024

PRESS RELEASE: LARAC Calls on Next Government to Prioritise Key Waste Management Reforms

LARAC urges the next government to prioritise and address critical waste management reforms as part of its policy agenda following the general election announcement. LARAC is committed to advocating for effective and sustainable waste management practices that benefit local authorities and the environment. 

Packaging Extended Producer Responsibility (pEPR) 

LARAC firmly supports the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which mandates that packaging producers take full financial responsibility for the lifecycle of their products. This includes collecting, sorting, and recycling packaging materials, encouraging sustainable product design, and reducing environmental impact. However, delays in the implementation of EPR have left local authorities in limbo, unable to adequately plan and budget for necessary service changes. The complexities introduced by the staggered implementation of business and non-household municipal (NHM) collections further exacerbate these challenges. 

LARAC calls for: 

  • Timely clarification on the definitions of “efficient and effective” processes for local authorities to comply with EPR. 

  • Assurance that EPR funding will be additional and not reduce existing central government funding for local services. 

  • Supportive, not punitive, improvement plans to ensure effective compliance. 

Simpler Recycling in England 

LARAC advocates for consistent material collection across local authorities while allowing for local flexibility in service delivery. The recent government proposal for fortnightly residual waste collections contradicts the majority consultation response and undermines the goals of Simpler Recycling reforms. Evidence shows that extending the interval between residual waste collections enhances recycling rates, reduces household waste volumes, and saves money for local authorities, aligning with efforts to meet net zero carbon targets. 

LARAC urges the next government to: 

  • Reconsider the stance on residual waste collection frequencies in England to support waste hierarchy principles. 

  • Recognise the importance of longer intervals for residual waste collections in achieving recycling targets and reducing overall waste across the UK. 

Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) 

Whilst LARAC acknowledges the potential benefits of Deposit Return Schemes, it advocates for delaying DRS implementation until after EPR and Simpler Recycling reforms are fully operational and assessed. The current decision to delay DRS until October 2027 leaves a funding gap for local authorities managing DRS materials starting from the commencement of EPR in April 2025. 

LARAC highlights the need for: 

  • Interim funding solutions to manage DRS materials until full integration with the EPR scheme. 

  • Transparent processes for local authorities to manage and reintegrate DRS materials without incurring additional, uncompensated costs. 

Funding and Support for Local Authorities 

Successful implementation of these reforms requires adequate funding and resources. LARAC stresses the importance of financial support from the central government to cover transition costs, public education campaigns, and infrastructure upgrades necessary for new collection systems. 


LARAC seeks to engage with the next government to understand its stance on these crucial policy areas. We are eager to discuss how the new administration plans to support EPR principles, drive consistency in collections, implement DRS effectively, and provide the necessary funding for local authorities. 

LARAC Chair Cathy Cook states:

We look forward to collaborating with the next government to enhance the effectiveness of waste collection and recycling systems in the UK. It is imperative that we work together to achieve our collective environmental goals.” 

For media inquiries, please contact Toni McNamara, LARAC Policy and Communications Lead -     

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