Defra Seeks Feedback on Reuse and Repair Barriers
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has opened a consultation on a recently published paper. The paper – Clarifying the application of the definition of waste to reuse and repair activities – provides an introduction to the definition of waste, its application to reuse and repair activities and some of the barriers to such activities.
The consultation builds on the priorities put forward in England’s Waste Prevention Programme which was published in December 2013. The Programme identified the need for further clarification on the impacts and approaches to the definition of waste, especially with regards to waste reuse and repair.
According to the paper a call for evidence last year on the Waste Prevention Programme identified a number of sectors, such as the agricultural, construction and energy sectors, where the definition of waste has proved to be challenging when carrying out reuse and repair activities.
The current definition of waste, as stated within the Waste Framework Directive, is ‘any substance or object the holder discards, intends to discard or is required to discard.’ This definition has existed for almost 30 years, and many within the waste sector feel that it is becoming outdated whilst also potentially acting as a barrier to the use of reuse and repair to address improved waste and material management in the UK.
Whether materials are defined as a waste or not has significant implications on how these materials can be handled and managed. Defra is therefore welcoming feedback on the issues covered within the paper, and is particularly keen to hear about specific examples where the existing definition of waste has acted as a barrier to reuse and repair activities.
The Department is also seeking suggestions for any changes that could support future growth in the reuse and repair sectors.
In order to address the barriers and issues that are identified during the consultation, Defra is also planning to establish a working group at the start of 2015, comprising of enforcement authorities, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and other representatives from the reuse and repair sectors. The aim of this working group will be to develop an action plan for trialling new approaches and removing any barriers to reuse and repair, as examined within the paper.
The full paper under consultation can be viewed here. Defra are seeking feedback on this paper until the 30th January 2015.