Less red tape and government bureaucracy! Sounds like great news, but at whose expense?
Business secretary Sajid Javid said government would “…cut £10 billion in red tape over the course of this parliament, helping to create more jobs for working people, boosting productivity and keeping our economy growing.” However, it can inadvertently conflict with business needs if not handled carefully with expert engagement.
You can take part in our red tape survey to share your own views by clicking the link on the right hand side of this page, meanwhile here are our thoughts on slashing the red tape...
Where is the harm?
ecosurety carries its fair share of red tape as a business, not to mention all the legislation we manage for our 800+ members. In simple terms, to reduce red tape is good news where it has prevented us from doing business, or has created barriers to advance the sector and increase re-use and recovery of materials.
As an expert in the sector, we have to deal with many inefficiencies within both the real operational world, as well as the petty administration that exists in the compliance world. Most exist due to the existence or interpretation of legislation of how we should run our own business. However, we recognise this was not the original aim.
Protecting the environment we all work in with an eye on feeding a circular economy, and, reducing our reliance on virgin and global trade of materials was surely the intention; an objective that could only put us in a stronger and healthier position, operating as a sustainable business.
Change for good
So we are all in favour of removing unnecessary barriers, and this is the key point – recognising the necessary and unnecessary elements of the regulations and administration thereof, that exist within the waste sector. We believe focusing attention on the administrative and duplication inefficiencies within the system can save many man hours. We support this as part of our latest feedback to DEFRA in the Batteries and Packaging Consultation.
Regulation as a back stop to recycling
The compliance and waste regulations we have managed for over a decade have evolved from their original form, which gives us the best view of where the problems lie. The scope, qualification criteria and recycling requirements have changed as businesses like ecosurety met the challenge, improved performance and helped the UK become a leader within the EU in this area.
ecosurety believes that firstly the market should drive what it needs, for example quality product supply, material security, consumer demand. Secondly the regulations should ensure that environmental objectives and targets are achieved. This has improved the environmental conditions, our standard of living, business performance and growth in the economy. Within Europe, research says ‘…that better societal outcomes including an increase of €3,000 in household income can be achieved’ through a growth in the circular economy.' That’s €1.8 trillion by 2030!
As part of the national review, we’ll be asking members a series of questions to share their views so we can continue to engage with government on the important strategic plans for better regulation in the waste sector.
In the meantime, what do you think? Is cutting red tape, especially with regard to environmental compliance, a good thing? Will businesses be sufficiently motivated to be mindful of their environmental responsibilities without legislation to support it?
We’d love to hear your views - take part in our quick online survey now by clicking here.
Innovation and policy director
Robbie is innovation and policy director at Ecosurety. Having spent years building an intimate understanding of the industry’s policies and politics, he uses this knowledge to help shape new legislation and oversees Ecosurety’s growing portfolio of cross-industry innovation projects including Podback and the Flexible Plastic Fund. He has worked closely with Defra during the most recent packaging consultations, outlining the impacts and required transitional arrangements of the UK’s new EPR system and is a member of the government’s Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP). He is also a spokesperson for the company and regularly uses his influence to communicate the importance of environmental responsibility to external stakeholders.
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