Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Reducing avoidable plastic waste - incentives, targets, and policy priorities

Morning, Tuesday, 3rd December 2019

Central London


This conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss the progress of England’s Resources and Waste Strategy, which sets the Government’s approach to eliminate avoidable plastic waste by 2050.

Delegates will also consider priorities for the ongoing Courtald Commitment 2025 and UK Plastics Pact.

Sessions will assess what has been learnt so far, what more can be done to achieve the targets, latest thinking on alternative approaches, and the impact on industry, local government and households.

We expect discussion to reflect key issues emerging from the major consultations related to the Strategy on:

The agenda and keynote speakers
Keynote contributions on:

  • One year on from the Resources and Waste Strategy for England - with Dawn Woodward, Deputy Head, Resource and Waste, Defra; and
  • Next steps for plastic waste policy - with Dr Marcus Gover, Chief Executive Officer, WRAP.

Further sessions focus on:

  • Assessing the policy challenges for reducing plastic waste - incentives, extended producer responsibility and the plastic packaging tax; and
  • Developing the systems for zero plastic waste: deposit return schemes, consistency in recycling collections and bioplastics.

Case studies:

  • Innovative waste management disposal - incentivising plastic waste recycling; and
  • Moving towards standardised recycling collections - challenges and opportunities.

Reducing single use plastics and developing a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS)

Delegates will consider the best ways in which to incentivise business practice looking at the future balance of industry-led and government-mandated targets, producer responsibility, and the future role of taxation policy.

It follows the European Parliament approving a ban on all single-use plastic by 2021, and the UK Government announcing a ban on single use plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds by April 2020.

Sessions will also examine the challenges and opportunities of introducing a DRS for single use drinks containers following a recent consultation - with discussion expected on the role of industry and local government; driving behaviour change; and what the UK can learn from similar schemes abroad.

Developing infrastructure, waste management systems and supporting innovation

The conference will be an opportunity for policymakers and stakeholders to consider what more should be done to develop the necessary waste management infrastructure and recycling facilities in the UK to ensure that more and different types of plastics can be recycled.

They will also assess priorities for moving towards more consistent recycling collection schemes in a way which works for businesses, local authorities and environmental service providers.

The role of plastic and packaging innovation will also be assessed - following the launch of the Government consultation on Standards for biodegradable, compostable and bio-based plastics - with further discussion on how best to reduce plastic waste in a way that does not shorten the shelf-life of perishable products, and keeps consumers and businesses engaged.

Keynote Speaker

Dr Marcus Gover

Chief Executive Officer, WRAP

Keynote Speakers

Dawn Woodward

Deputy Head, Resource and Waste, Defra

Dr Marcus Gover

Chief Executive Officer, WRAP


Simon Tilling

Partner, Burges Salmon and Vice Chair, UKELA

Stuart Hayward-Hingham

Technical Development Director, Suez

Paula Chin

Sustainable Materials Specialist, WWF

Barry Turner

Director, Plastics and Flexible Packaging Group, British Plastics Federation

Peter Andrews

Head of Sustainability Policy, British Retail Consortium

Beth Simpson

Senior Consultant, Anthesis Group

Bryan McCluskey

Circularity Director, Natural Hydration Council

Paul Mines

Chief Executive Officer, Biome Technologies

Bryony Rothwell

RECAP Partnership Manager, Cambridgeshire County Council