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Defra has faced criticism with regard to the manner in which the department consulted on its recently-launched Waste Prevention Programme for England


Karen Lepper – deputy director of waste strategy and management at Defra – restated the Department’s stance whilst speaking at the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum, stating that waste prevention targets “can be distorting” and that the government’s role in waste is to take actions “only where it can”.

Addressing Ms Lepper, Peter Laybourn – chief executive of consulting firm International Synergies – stated that responses submitted by the firm as part of the consultation had been “ignored” suggesting that the final Programme failed to include sufficient industry evidence.

Amongst those addressing the Waste Prevention Programme for England was professor of applied environmental science at University of Southampton, Ian Williams. He went on to say that his former responses to consultations had also not been taken into account.

Ms Lepper responded:

“We weren’t able to include everything in our programme. We had a huge number of responses. But this doesn’t mean that it won’t be taken forward in the future.”

The market development manager at the Furniture Reuse Network (FRN) Helen Middleton asked the panel what the implications were regarding to the lack of targets for reuse in the Programme.

In response, panellist Wayne Hubbard – chief operating officer of the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) – said:

“I am not convinced that the lack of targets is a bad thing.”

He added that the main focus was to look at financing reuse businesses and infrastructure in England, saying:

“I think there is an economic case and we have to go out and make that case first, which takes some time.”

For more information, view the following references:

Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum

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