Increase producer responsibility

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) is calling for a revision of the current waste strategy to focus on resource efficiency and waste minimization through increased producer responsibility.

Whilst an increasing amount of municipal waste has been diverted from landfill and recycled, the UK continues to generate 430 million tonnes of waste per year, and a great deal of this still goes to landfill.

However, recycling is only part of an environmentally sustainable solution. The Chartered Institution believes we need to build on existing achievements by assigning more of the costs of managing downstream waste to the producer; clarifying the role of waste recycling in terms of the waste hierarchy; and incentivizing small and medium sized enterprises to improve their waste management practices.

CIWEM’s Director of Policy, Justin Taberham, said that despite its efforts, the UK is currently lagging behind many other European States in this area and that improvements must be made to the system to further promote minimization of the production of waste, supported by a circular flow of resources and materials designed to facilitate reuse and recycling wherever possible. One can, I am sure, but agree with that.

In continental Europe much more emphasis is placed on manufacturers to reduce waste in the first place, and let's face it; most waste is packaging, unnecessary packaging often, as most products are, in fact, severely over-packaged.

CIWEM’s waste management work is taken forward by a panel of experts with a focus on international waste policy and legislation, contaminated land, waste minimisation, resource issues, energy use and new technologies. Both CIWEM’s Manifesto and Waste Management Policy Position Statement call for resource efficiency and waste minimisation through increased producer responsibility. To find out more, go to

Some of these issues will be discussed at the CIWEM seminar sessions being held at Futuresource 2010. Speakers include Dr Stephen Wise, who will talk about the practical requirements for successfully developing AD plants to treat both municipal and commercial organic waste. CIWEM is proud to support Futuresource 2010, an event which provides a platform for highlighting water issues in waste management and offers opportunities for integration between different sectors, something which CIWEM encourages fully.

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management ( CIWEM ) is an independent professional body and a registered charity, advancing the science and practice of water and environmental management for a clean, green and sustainable world.

Futuresource is a joint event from the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) and the Environmental Services Association (ESA) for the environment and sustainability industry. Now into its second year, Futuresource is located at the ExCeL Centre in London's Docklands and will take place from 15th -17th June 2010.

Dr Stephen Wise is a member of CIWEM’s Waste Management Panel and Head of Organic Waste Development at Shanks Waste Management.

© 2010