The bill stipulates a consistent set of materials that must generally be collected individually separated from all households. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images The bill stipulates a consistent set of materials that must generally be collected individually separated from all households. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Environment Bill: 7 changes to waste law

The Environment Bill would provide the legislative framework needed to deliver many of the commitments set out in the 2018 Resources and Waste Strategy. Here are 7 things you need to know.

1 Producer Responsibility has been toughened up

The Environment Act 1995 allows for obligations to be placed on producers in relation to the re-use, recovery and recycling of products. These are already in place for four waste streams (including packaging waste). The bill will allow government to require producers to pay the full net cost of managing their products at end of life to incentivise them to design their products with sustainability in mind. The bill also clarifies that producer responsibility obligations can include prevention of waste and redistribution, making it clear that action can be taken on food waste.

READ MORE: 38 things you need to know about the Environment Bill

2 A Deposit return scheme (DRS) will be launched

The bill allows for the introduction of deposit return schemes where consumers pay an up-front deposit when they buy an item (such as a drink in a bottle or can), which is then redeemed on return of the used item. The government, which consulted in spring on introducing a DRS, said these schemes can increase recycling and reuse, and reduce littering. 

READ MORE: 10 things you need to know about DEFRA's waste consultations

3 Resource efficiency standards will be implemented

Once in force, the Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 will amend the Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products Regulations 2010 to allow for mandatory product standards to be set by the government for energy-related products. The bill complements these provisions by enabling resource efficiency standards to be set for non-energy-related products. The bill will also allow for clear labelling to enable consumers to identify products that are more durable, repairable and recyclable. 

4 More charges on single-use plastics will be brought in

The Climate Change Act 2008 makes provision for charging for the supply of single-use carrier bags. According to government figures, the introduction of a 5p plastic bag charge in England in 2015 has resulted in a 90% decrease in plastic bag sales by main supermarket retailers. The bill allows for the introduction of charges for any single-use plastic item. 

5 Consistent household collections will be mandated

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 underpins local authorities’ duty to collect household waste in England from domestic properties. Local Authorities however, do not all collect the same range of materials, which has caused confusion as to what can be recycled. The bill stipulates a consistent set of materials that must generally be collected individually separated from all households and businesses, including food waste. 

 6 Tougher rules on waste crime will be introduced

Illegal waste activity was estimated to have cost the English economy over £600 million in 2015. The government says the bill will help prevent waste crime by modernising the regulatory framework; deter waste crime by ensuring regulators can take effective enforcement action; and detect waste crime by allowing for electronic waste tracking

7 Littering enforcement will be improved

The bill also contains measures to improve the proportionality and fairness of enforcement against littering, as part of the continued delivery of the Litter Strategy for England, which the government published in 2017.

Follow-up: The Environment Bill is available here. The explanatory notes are available here. The policy statement is available here.

 

Related ENDS Compliance Content

  • Environmental Protection Act 1990 (as amended)
    Close

    Environmental Protection Act 1990 (as amended)

    In force/
    Current
    Legislation
    England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, UK, Wales
    Published
    22 Mar 2019

    Commentary

    28/02/2013 Scottish Order (SSI 2013/74) varying Section 153 published.
    07/11/2013 Amending regulations (SSI 2013/315) published, increasing fly-tipping and littering fixed penalties for Scotland from April 2014.
    07/05/2015 Amending Order SSI 2015/188 published, substituting definition of the EU Waste Directive in relation to Scotland only., 27/05/2015 Amending Order SSI 2015/210 varying Section 153(1) (Financial assistance for environmental purposes) published.
    12/02/2016 Amending Regulations (SSI 2016/99) published, amending Section 78YB in relation to Scotland only., 14/03/2016 Amending Regulations (SI 2016/334) published., 26/10/2017 Amending Order ( WSI 2017/1024 ) published.
    12/02/2018 Amending Regulations ( SI 2018/171) published., 24/08/2018 Amending Regulations ( SI 2018/942) published.
    01/02/2019 Amending Regulations ( SSI 2019/26) published., 22/02/2019 Amending Regulations ( WSI 2019/331) published.

    Compliance Dates

    15/11/1990 Comes into force on 15/11/1990
    05/11/1990 Sections 128 to 139 come into force to the extent stated in the Environmental Act 1990 (Commencement No.1) Order 1990 (SI 1990/2226) (see Section 164) o
    05/11/1990, 13/11/1990 Sections 89(7), 89(8), 89(9), 89(11), 89(12) and 89(13) come into force (see Section 164) on 13/11/1990, 19/12/1990 Section 3 comes into force (see Section 164) on 19/12/1990
    01/01/1991 Sections 1, 2, 4 to 28, 100 to 105, and 159 come into force (see Section 164) o
    01/01/1991, Sections 79 to 85, 97, 99, 140 to 142, 145, 146, 148, 153 to 155, 157, 160, 161, 162(5) and 163 come into force (see Section 164) o
    01/01/1991, Sections 105, 162(1) and 162(2) come into force to the extent stated in Section 164(2) (see Section 164) o
    01/01/1991, Section 162(2) comes into force to the extent stated in the Environmental Protection Act (Commencement No.4) Order 1990 (SI 1990/2635) (see Section 164) o
    01/01/1991, 14/01/1991 Sections 86(2), 86(6) to (8), 86(11), 86(14), 86(15), 88(5), 88(7), 88(9)(b), 89(4), 90(1), 90(2), 90(7), 94(1), 94(2), 96(2), and 96(3) come into force (see Section 164) on 14/01/1991, 14/01/1991 Section 162(1) comes into force to the extent stated in the Environmental Protection Act (Commencement No.5) Order1991 (SI 1991/96) (see Section 164) on 14/01/1991, 13/02/1991 Sections 86(1), 86(4), 86(5), 86(9), 86(13), 87(1), 87(2), 87(3)(a) to (e), 87(4) to (6), 88(1) to (4), 88(6), 88(8), 88(9)(a), 88(9)(c) to (e) and 88(10), 98(1), 98(2), 98(5) and 98(6) come into force (see Section 164) on 13/02/1991
    01/04/1991 Sections 128, 130, 132 and 162(2) come into force to the extent stated in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (Commencement No.6 and Appointed Day) Order 1991 (SI 1991/685) (see Section 164) o
    01/04/1991, Sections 86(3), 86(10), 87(7), 89(1)(a) to (f), 89(2), 89(3), 89(5), 89(6), 89(10), 89(14), 91(1)(a) to (f), 91(2) to (13), 92(1)(a) to (c), 92(2) to (10), 93, 94(3) to (9),

    Characteristics

    Subject

    Air General policy Hazardous substances Industrial regulation Land and development Statutory nuisance Sustainable development Transport Waste Water

    Source

    OPSI (Office of Public Sector Information)

    Affected Sectors

    Cross-sector
  • Defra Statement: Draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill 2018
    Close

    Defra Statement: Draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill 2018

    In force/
    Current
    Legislation
    England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, UK, Wales
    Published
    22 Dec 2018

    Commentary

    19/12/2018 A consultation on environmental principles and governance after EU exit was published in May 2018.

    Characteristics

    Subject

    General policy Land and development Sustainable development

    Source

    DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

    Affected Sectors

    Cross-sector Public Sector Conservation Land Management and Landscaping
  • Environment Act 1995 (as amended)
    Close

    Environment Act 1995 (as amended)

    In force/
    Current
    Legislation
    England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, UK, Wales
    Published
    07 Sep 2018

    Commentary

    13/12/2013 Amending Regulations (SI 2013/3135) published.
    07/07/2015 Amending Act (Planning (Wales) Act 2015) published.
    04/04/2016 Amending Regulations (SI 2016/475) published.
    01/11/2017 Commencement Order No.25 ( SI 2017/1045) published.
    07/12/2017 Amending Regulations ( SI 2017/1200) published., 16/03/2018 Amending Regulations (SI 2018/369) published to insert Sections 109A to 109N to enable the EA and NRW to restrict access and the importation of waste to premises, in part, 24/08/2018 Amending Regulations ( SI 2018/942) published.
    02/04/2019 Amending Regulations (SI 2019/734) published.

    Compliance Dates

    28/07/1995 28/07/1995 Sections 1, 3(3) to (8), 4, 7, 9, 12, 37(1), (2) and (9), 38 to 40, 45 to 52, 56, 120(1), 120(4) to (6) and 121 to 124 come into force (see Section 125) on 28/07/1995, 19/09/1995 Part III of the Act except for Section 78 (minor and consequential amendments), paragraph 7(2) of Schedule 7 (local authority members of a National Park Authority) and Schedule 10 (Minor and Consequential Amendments relating to National Parks) comes , 21/09/1995 Sections 42, 93 to 95 and 97 to 103 come into force (see Section 125) on 21/09/1995, 21/09/1995 Sections 41, 57 and 58, 105, 116, 120(1) and 120(3) come into force to the extent stated in the Environment Act 1995 (Commencement No.1) Order 1995 (SI 1995/1983) (see Section 125) on 21/09/1995
    12/10/1995 Sections 20 to 23, 30 to 32 and 36 come into force ( see Section 125) o
    12/10/1995, Sections 59 and 120(1) come into force to the extent stated in the Environment Act 1995 (Commencement No.2) Order 1995 (SI 1995/2649) (see Section 125) o
    12/10/1995, Section 96(2) comes into force (see Section 125) o
    01/11/1995, Sections 96(1), 96(4), 96(5), (6(6) and 120(3) come into force to the extent stated in regulation 2 of the Environment Act (Commencement No.3) Order 1995 (SI 1995/2765) (see Section 125) o
    01/11/1995, 23/11/1995 Section 78 comes into force to the extent stated in regulation 2 of the Environment Act 1995 (Commencement No.4 and Saving Provisions) Order 1995 (SI 1995/2950) (see Section 125) on 23/11/1995
    01/04/1996 Sections 2, 3(1), 5(1), 5(3), 5(4), 6, 8, 10, 11, 13 to 19, 25 to 29, 33 to 35, 37(3) to (8), 41, 53 and 54, 55(1) to (6), 81, 92, 104, 106 to 114 and 115 come into force (see Section 125) o
    01/04/1996, Sections 105, 120(1), 120(2) and 120 (3) come into force to the extent stated in the Environment Act 1995 (Commencement No.5) Order 1996 (SI 1996/186) (see Section 125) o
    01/04/1996, 21/11/1996 Section 120(1) comes into force to the extent stated in

    Characteristics

    Subject

    General policy

    Source

    OPSI (Office of Public Sector Information)

    Affected Sectors

    Cross-sector Agriculture Animal Boarding and Pest Control Fishing and aquaculture Mining and Quarrying Waste and Cleaning Construction Offices Real Estate and Public Administration

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