This update contains brief details of Government and EU publications, legislation, cases and other developments in England and Wales relevant to those interested in waste management, which have been published in the past month.

Items are set out by subject, with a link to where the full document can be found on the internet. All links are correct at the date of publication.

If you have been forwarded this update by a colleague and would like to receive it direct please email Claire Booth.

The following topics are covered in this update:

   Duty of Care     Food Waste
   Enforcement    Hazardous Waste 
   Environmental Liability    Producer Responsibility
   Environmental Policy    Waste Management

Duty of Care

Environmental Services Association: Right waste, right place: the ESA has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the Waste Duty of Care obligations under s.34 of the Environment Protection Act 1990. It provides practical information to help companies, partnerships, family businesses and sole traders from a broad range of sectors to comply and help keep waste out of the hands of waste criminals. (12 April 2016)

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Environment Agency: Waste firm ordered to pay more than £1.2m for waste offences: reports that Powerday Plc has been sentenced by Harrow Crown Court to pay fines of £1m plus £294,000 costs pleaded guilty to waste offences under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 and s.33(1)(c) EPA 1990. The offences related to two separate cases, which saw more than 17,000 tonnes of waste deposited and stored illegally. (13 April 2016)

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Environmental Liability

European Commission: Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and to the Council Pursuant to Article 18(2) of Directive 2004/35/EC on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage (COM(2016) 204 final): the Environmental Liability Directive 2004/35 (ELD) establishes a framework based on the polluter pays principle to prevent and remedy environmental damage. This report evaluates whether the ELD is fit for purpose. Using five principal evaluation criteria of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and EU added value, the evaluation provides a picture of how the ELD works and identifies what has been achieved and where challenges and gaps need to be addressed. The key findings are that the ELD has improved, to a certain degree: the standards of prevention and restoration of environmental damage; the application of the ‘polluter pays’ principle; strict liability across the EU for environmental damage; EU-wide liability for biodiversity damage; and public participation and access to justice for people affected and NGOs. However, implementation still varies significantly from one Member State to another in terms of the number of ELD cases and the way the ELD is implemented. The observed ‘patchwork’ of environmental remediation, together with the lack of some key data on implementation and on the cost (both administrative and financial security), is a major challenge. There is also an executive summary. (14 April 2016)

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Environmental Policy

HC Environmental Audit Committee: EU and UK environmental policy: this report concludes that EU membership has been a crucial factor in shaping UK environmental policy on air and water pollution, and biodiversity. EU membership has given the UK a platform to pursue its environmental objectives internationally and to influence the strategic, long-term direction of policy; it has also ensured that environmental action in the UK has been taken on a faster timetable, and more thoroughly than would otherwise have been the case. A UK outside the EU would still have to follow some EU environmental legislation, but with significantly less ability to influence how it is developed. (19 April 2016)

Green Alliance: The environmental case for staying in the EU: this issue of the Green Alliance's Inside Track magazine contains a collection of articles laying out the case that the EU has been a force for good on the environment and that a vote to leave the EU would mean enormous jeopardy for Britain’s environment. It sets out a range of perspectives from those who have seen EU environmental policy from the inside, and those who have observed the changes to the UK's environment on the outside. It also provides an update on Green Alliance's latest projects, including how it is changing the debate around renewables and its initiative with eight other environmental organisations to set out actions for the next mayor of London. (12 April 2016)

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Food Waste

House of Commons Library: Food waste – Key facts, policy and trends in the UK: this research briefing covers: some key food waste facts and trends; an explanation of the impacts of food waste; food waste policy and legislation; information on the UK voluntary initiatives in place to tackle food waste; and a summary of proposals for change. (8 April 2016)

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Hazardous Waste

European Environmental Bureau: Declaration on waste containing nanomaterials: this Declaration calls for  waste containing manufactured nanomaterials (MNM) to be categorised as hazardous waste, in order to better control disposal routes of such waste and so limit human and environmental exposure to MNM. In addition, the Declaration calls for waste reduction at the source, full producer responsibility, and the creation of a public EU nano-product register. (12 April 2016)

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Producer Responsibility

DEFRA: Consolidation of the Packaging Regulations: updated consultation on proposals to consolidate the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 so as to bring together all the changes that have been made since 2007. This consolidation will not change the meaning of the law or introduce any policy change. The closing date for the consultation has been extended to 17 May 2016. (18 April 2016)

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Waste Management

CIWM / Local Partnerships: Delivering waste efficiencies in the North West: this is the fifth regional review undertaken by Local Partnerships focusing on efficiencies achieved in waste management. The examples provided will enable other waste collection authorities to benefit from the experiences, particularly in terms of examining councils’ own services and seeing if the experiences here could be applied to their authority and support them in making their own savings. They do not just focus on one specific area or aspect of waste management, but explore a range of options to achieve efficiencies. (8 April 2016)

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