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The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, the British Metals Recycling Association and the Environmental Services Association all called for the new government to put resources and wastes management back on the priority list when they were elected into Parliament. However, according to the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) the Government has “far to go” in order to maximise opportunities which will create the right environment for the UK to fully transition to a sustainable economy.

The general election might be over however, sustainability and environment professionals have criticised political parties for the lack of attention they were giving sustainability issues, despite the fact that it these issues impact on a range of areas from health to the economy.

The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) conducted a poll in which 89% of respondents said they were not happy with the overall attention given by the major parties to environment and sustainably concerns.

IEMA’s Policy & Practice Lead Josh Fothergill said IEMA Members were disappointed by the lack of prominence that environment and sustainability issues had throughout the election campaign.

Steve Lee, chief executive of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) stated:

“The in-coming Conservative-led UK government will have many priorities, but for CIWM and its members we need them to get the environment in general – and resources and wastes management in particular – back on the priority list for action. Neither has featured in the party’s election campaign despite their clear importance in delivering jobs and sustainable economic growth, as well as protecting people and the environment.”

Collaborating with other nations to combat climate change and the release of a new Energy Bill to increase energy security in the UK were among the key announcements in the first all-Conservative Queen’s Speech since 1996.

However, sustainability professionals were ‘disappointed’ when the Queen gave just two mentions of energy and the environment in her 10-minute speech.

It seems that the UK’s relationship with the EU was also at the top of the news agenda this week, due to this it is necessary to also place emphasis on the need for the UK to be proactively engaged in environmental and Circular Economy policy making at a European level, particularly on the Commission’s Circular Economy consultation.

“The resources and waste management sector is dynamic and fast growing, and has a huge contribution to make to the UK economy both in terms of jobs and in supporting UK plc to become more resource efficient and competitive. However, if we are to truly make the transition from ‘waste’ to ‘resource management’, many of the drivers and mechanisms need to be implemented at a European level,” says R&WUK’s chief executive Steve Lee.

ESA’s executive director Jacob Hayler said:

“A key environmental priority for the next government should be to find a way for us to meet our 2020 household recycling targets without local authorities going bust. The industry is keen to help the government solve this conundrum as well as other issues affecting our sector,” continued Hayler.


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