Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Next steps for waste policy in the UK: implementing the Resource and Waste Strategy, reducing avoidable waste and challenges for a deposit return scheme

Morning, Tuesday, 2nd April 2019

Central London


This conference examines the next steps for waste and recycling policy across the UK.

The seminar will focus on issues for implementing the Government’s recently published Resource and Waste Strategy, which sets out proposals to expand the circular economy in England, including improving sustainable production methods - and implementing further extended producer responsibility controls such as taxing plastic products containing less than 30% recycled plastic.

It takes place following the launch of multiple consultations aimed at meeting key pledges from the strategy - including a possible Plastic Packaging Tax; the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS); reforming the UK packaging producer responsibility system; and improving Consistency in Household and Business Recycling Collections in England.

We expect discussion on opportunities for improving recycling rates, particularly in urban areas - including developing greater collaboration between businesses and local authorities.

Attendees will also assess latest strategies for driving changes in consumer behaviour and the role of industry in aiding households to make more informed decisions on utilising repair, reuse and remanufacture schemes.

Delegates will assess the impact and implications of a range of policy initiatives on reducing plastic waste, including opportunities for developing single-use alternatives and other measures to counter issues such as potentially shortened expiry dates.

It follows the recent vote by the European Parliament approving a ban on all single-use plastic by 2021 and a Government response expected by the end of March on the UK Government consultation on a ban on the distribution of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds in England in the same time-frame.

Sessions will look at both policy and industry initiatives for reducing food and drink waste, including the launch of the first phase of the Government’s £15m food redistribution pilot scheme - which aims to provide financial support to food redistribution companies, the announcement of a new Food Surplus and Waste Champion, weekly food waste collections, and commitments to meeting UN Sustainable Development Goals to half food waste by 2030.

Attendees will also consider the lessons to be learnt from on-going policy development in Scotland and Wales, including the development of a Scottish deposit return scheme and Welsh policy on food waste being diverted from landfill to generate electricity.

In light of the on-going government consultation on a proposed DRS for single-use drinks containers, and as industry begins trialling DRS, delegates will also examine the impact on businesses and local authorities including potential increased costs, duplicated waste collections and the role of incentives for consumers.

We expect discussion on possible ways that the DRS might be developed to take account of plastics that are more difficult to recycle, or used ‘on-the-go’.

Keynote Speaker

Chris Preston

Deputy Director, Resource and Waste, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Keynote Speakers

Chris Preston

Deputy Director, Resource and Waste, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Peter Maddox

Director, WRAP UK


Maurice Golden MSP

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform

Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville

Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs


Iain Gulland

Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland

Peter Andrews

Head of Sustainability, British Retail Consortium

Edward Woodall

Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Association of Convenience Stores

Andrew Schein

Associate Research Advisor, Behavioural Insights Team

Lucy Frankel

Communications Director, Vegware

Mark Sommerfeld

Policy Manager, Renewable Energy Association

Dr Adam Read

External Affairs Director, SUEZ UK

Dr Andy Rees

Head of Waste Strategy Branch, Welsh Government

Nick Brown

Head of Sustainability, Coca-Cola European Partners

Stephen Shergold

Partner, Dentons

Lindsay Boswell

Chief Executive, FareShare

Maria Warner

Recycling Team Leader, Oxford Direct Services

Councillor Donald Milne

Cabinet Member for Environment, Roads and Facilities, Conwy County Borough Council