Last week saw the long-awaited release of the Government’s Review of Waste Policy in England at the CIWM 2011 Conference. As a communications agency which prides itself on environmental experience and knowledge, we were not only keen to cast an eye over the review itself but we were also monitoring every key blog, tweet and article streaming out of the CIWM event.
Unfortunately, the general consensus seemed to be that the review did not pack the punch its extensive build up (perhaps inadvertently) promised. There was a general sense of disappointment in the distinct lack of new targets set by the government, and the new Anaerobic Digestion Strategy and Action Plan – unveiled alongside the review – barely received any recognition. Furthermore, there were some sections which could be regarded as a shirking of responsibility which will instead fall on householders, Local Authorities, and even charities. Environmental campaign group, Friends of the Earth even went so far as to condemn the review as ‘embarrassingly vague’.
The review does, at least, highlight the need to progress from the now ‘social norm’ of recycling and focus on waste prevention. Whether this is through encouraging packaging manufacturers to think of the full life cycle of products, or promoting a behavioural shift away from our current so-called ‘throwaway society’, considering the bigger picture when it comes to recycling will play a fundamental part in moving forward.