Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +044 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.

Next steps for tackling plastic waste - increasing recycling, reducing plastic use, and supporting the development of sustainable alternatives

TO BE PUBLISHED November 2020

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will be an opportunity to assess priorities for reducing avoidable plastic waste, including:

  • next steps for improving plastic waste management,
  • strategies for driving business, household and individual behaviour change,
  • innovation in materials, product design and business practices - particularly in the food sector, and
  • the Environment Bill, voluntary commitments, extended producer responsibility, and options for further developments in regulation, enforcement and incentives.

Of course, we expect discussion on the day to reflect the impact of the COVID-19 on waste management services and processes and those working in the sector and what can be learned for the future.

Issues to be considered include:

  • the impact of the closures of recycling plants and changes to waste collection procedures during the COVID-19 crisis,
  • changes in household behaviour during the pandemic, following reduced waste collection,
  • how heightened safety and public health measures put in place can inform best practice going forward, and
  • the effect on longer-term plastic waste policy implementation of the temporary requirements for one-time use of plastics in clinical, retail and other settings.

Key areas for discussion: 

  • The Environment Bill - assessing provisions for bans and charges for classes of plastic, extended producer responsibility reform, labelling, deposit return schemes and consistent collection policies;
  • Domestic waste management - priorities for progress on targets for increasing recycling rates eliminating single use plastic and standardising collection.
  • Consumer engagement and awareness:
    • waste separation - improving consumer knowledge, and whether more needs to be done to enable or mandate the separation of materials prior to collection,
    • learning from policy and practice in other countries - with a case study from Copenhagen,
    • design and consumer messages - developments in driving behaviour change,
    • options for the future ban of single use plastics beyond plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds, and what can be learnt from the introduction of charges on single use carrier bags.
  • Business practice:
    • progress in reducing plastic use whilst maintaining safety in clinical, workplace and other settings - and assessing the impact of measures implemented in the wake of COVID-19, and
    • strategies for incentivising businesses and producer responsibility, and
    • the future balance of industry-led and government-mandated targets.
  • Innovation - latest developments in packaging and product design, ensuring perishable product shelf-life, consumer and business engagement, and new minimum design requirements;
  • Infrastructure - next steps for developing effective and comprehensive UK plastic waste management and recycling facilities; and
  • Enforcement - reducing illegal waste activities, assessing measures in the Environment Bill for business waste management practices, and introduction of an electronic waste tracking system.

Developments that are relevant to the discussion: 

  • The Environment Bill, with plans within its resources and waste management chapter for:
    • bans on specific types of unrecyclable plastic and new powers for national authorities to introduce charges for single-use plastics,
    • extended producer responsibility scheme reform with greater responsibility for disposal and encouragement to innovate product design,
    • clearer labelling on products so that they can easily be identified as recyclable,
    • introduction of deposit return schemes to encourage on the go recycling, and
    • ending the variation between authorities in materials collected from households and business.

The agenda:

  • The UK Plastics Pact and the Courtauld Commitment 2025 - progress to date and priorities for international collaboration;
  • Case study from Copenhagen: best practices for increasing recycling rates;
  • Improving domestic plastic waste management - safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, standardised collections, developing recycling infrastructure, and opportunities for the introduction of a deposit return scheme;
  • Reducing plastic waste - industry priorities, innovating product design and developing reusable, hygienic and sustainable materials:
    • Innovating product design and opportunities for the development and use of sustainable materials,
    • Encouraging innovation and reducing the usage of in plastic packaging in the food and retail sector,
    • Challenges for extended producer responsibility - preventing and redistributing surplus materials,
    • Encouraging change in consumer behaviour and nurturing sustainable habits - labelling, education and engagement,
    • Removing plastic waste pollution from the environment and ensuring the sustainability of new materials, and
    • Reducing plastic use in health and social care whilst maintaining cleanliness and patient safety.
  • Next steps for policy and taking forward the Environment Bill.

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

This one looks no different. Places have been reserved by officials from BEISMHCLG; Defra; the Food Standards Agency; the Department for International Trade; DAERA, NI and the Welsh Government.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates