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30 Jan

Welcome to The GBN January Briefing

  • 30 January 2019 |

Welcome to The GBN January Briefing

The Christmas and New Year holidays are now a distant memory, but while we were all having a few days off wondering how a single turkey could make so many meals, the Government was busy launching the Resource and Waste strategy and a couple of other little nuggets.

Here's our brief outline of key changes ahead in the exciting world of packaging related environmental legislation!


The main proposals you need to know about are:

  • The biggest implication for most businesses in the Resource and Waste Strategy is that Producers will have to pay the full cost of collection and sorting domestic waste including packaging, electricals, food waste etc. (where the current PRN system only subsidises the cost of recycling waste packaging) in 2023.
    • Estimates for cost are between five and ten times the cost of compliance in 2017/18.
    • The Government intends to include a ‘modulated fee’ that will be dependent upon how easy it is to reuse, repair or recycle products (including packaging).
  • A proposed new tax on all plastic packaging used that does not contain at least 30% recycled content by 2022.
  • A deposit return system is expected by 2023 for single use plastic bottles, (and perhaps coffee cups).

Now read on for more details..

New Resource and Waste Strategy

In the run up to Christmas, Michael Gove launched a new Resource and Waste Strategy with details of the Government’s aspirations for the environment up to 2030 and some proposals that look as far away as 2050.

There are 8 sections:

  1. Sustainable production
  2. Helping consumers to take more action
  3. Recovering resources and managing waste
  4. Tackling waste crime
  5. Cutting down on food waste
  6. Global Britain
  7. Research and innovation
  8. Measuring progress

The main proposals include:

  • Compulsory food waste collection
  • Annual reporting of food surplus and waste by food businesses
  • Extended producer responsibility to apply full cost recovery to producers with new waste types added
  • Reforming existing duty of care regulation including mandatory use of digital transfer and export documentation

Click here to see the announcement.

New Environment Bill

In addition to the Waste and Resource Strategy, Michael Gove also launched draft clauses for the first Environment Bill for 20 years. This will be a key step to show the Government’s commitment to maintain environmental protection as we leave the EU.

The draft clauses include:

Environmental Principals

These will be based on ‘polluter pays’ and to include the public on decision making – Let’s hope it is more effective than the current legislation governing planning permission for fracking!

Office for Environmental Protection

They plan to create an office to uphold this legislation to replace the oversight of the European Commission.

25 Year Environmental Plan

The plan reads like a panacea to manage waste, reverse pollution and implement greener technologies. It also talks about a legal requirement to have a plan to improve the environment and report annually. The first plan was published in January 2018.

Click here to see the announcement.

Carrier Bag Charges

Between Christmas and the new year, the government launched a consultation on extending the 5p carrier bag charge to all businesses, increasing it to 10p and requiring producers to report the volume of carrier bags placed on the market.

Full deta">

Click here for a link to give your feedback on line.

Future Consultations:

In January we are expecting consultations on the following:

  • Packaging waste reform - regulations due in 2021 and in force 2023
  • Deposit Return System – to be rolled out in 2023
  • Implementation of a minimum range of household waste to be collected for recycling
  • Minimum recycled content on plastic packaging to be 30% by 2022
  • And I am sure there was a whisper abut imposing a deposit for single use paper cups that may just have been the Government testing public opinion.
23 Jan

Clean Air Zones – Is this going to be the biggest change to motoring that we have ever seen?

  • 23 January 2019 |

** Update - January 2019 **

Leeds city council has now been given government approval to move forward in it’s endeavours to implement a Clean Air Charging Zone.

From January 6th 2020 operators of vehicles will be charged up to £50 per day to enter the zone. Charges are at various rates and only apply to Buses/coaches, HGVs and Taxi and private hire vehicles. Private cars, light goods vehicles (LGVs), vans, motorcycles and any other vehicles will pay no charge.

Similar Clean Air Zones are being implemented in other metropolitan areas around the UK.

Clean Air Zones – Is this going to be the biggest change to motoring that we have ever seen?

The UK has consistently failed to meet air quality targets to the point where both the European Union and environmental charities are taking the UK Government to court to help to prevent thousands of premature deaths associated with pollution. A significant proportion of this pollution comes from our use of cars, buses and lorries.

The UK is putting a framework into place to address the worst pollution hotspots through the introduction if Clean Air Zones (CAZ).

The driver behind the CAZ is to reduce air pollution which will have health benefits to the local population and so reduce pressure on the health service as well as comply with air quality standard legislation. A recent high court ruling says that local authorities must meet the targets in the shortest possible time. All affected Local Authorities are carrying out extensive modelling and analysis, to determine how much action they need to take in order to meet the targets.

The first to be introduced in the West Yorkshire area is likely to be in Leeds, but there are over 60 areas identified across the country which may also introduce CAZs, including all the other Local Authorities in West Yorkshire.

Local Authorities are charged with taking action to reduce pollution in areas where the local air quality is considered to be harmful to our health and the measures are likely to be different in each area; just enough to meet the targets.

We already have the Greater London Low Emission Zone (almost everywhere inside the M25). For all buses, coaches & lorries that do not meet the Euro IV emissions standard the charge is £200 per day to use a non-conforming vehicle in the Low Emission Zone. From 26th October 2020 when the charge will go up to £300 per day for buses and coaches over 5t and lorries over 3.5t if they do not meet the more stringent Euro6 standard. Vans and minibuses have to pay £100 per day if they do not meet the Euro 3 standard.

Enough about London. What is happening in Yorkshire? There are areas of significant local pollution in all 5 West Yorkshire authorities and each authority is looking at their options. Leeds City Council are the first authority to publish proposals.

The proposal for Leeds includes a CAZ around Leeds City Centre. This will extend all the way to the outer ring road, Pudsey to the west, Temple Newsam & Crossgates to the East, the M621 to the South and Meanwood, Chapel Allerton and Roundhay to the North.

The proposed CAZ will cover buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles and HGVs – but NOT vans and private cars¹.

If you drive a bus, coach, lorry or taxi which does not meet the current emissions standards you will have to pay a charge from 2020. The proposal is that this charge will be £12.50 per day for taxis and £50 per day for other vehicle types, although there are a number of exemptions proposed (eg for specialist vehicles like fire engines, if there isn’t a suitable compatible vehicle available, or if you are forced to make a diversion into the CAZ due to a road closure).

There will be no charge for vehicles which meet the current standards, and no charge for vans and private cars in the current proposals. The revenue from the charges will be ring fenced to be used to improve air quality.

Leeds City Council are lobbying for a reciprocal agreement between charging authorities, so that if you drive in a number of different CAZ’s on the same day you do not build up huge daily charge.

To support business which are based within the CAZ the council are proposing a mitigation package which includes grants of up to £15,000 for HGV owners and up to £19,000 for coach operators to retrofit their vehicles to become compliant. Initially these grants will come from a £220 million (UK Wide) fund which the government is making available to help businesses based inside the CAZ to become compliant.

¹When considering Clean Air Zones Local authorities have to follow a hierarchy of measures. For CAZ vehicle restrictions these are:

  1. Buses and Coaches
  2. HGVs
  3. Taxis
  4. Light Goods Vehicles
  5. Private Vehicles

Local authorities have to consider how many of these categories of vehicle they need to cover in their CAZ in order to meet the emissions targets. It is expected that in Birmingham they will have to charge for all vehicle categories in order to meet the targets coach operators to retrofit their vehicles to become compliant.

If Leeds City Council’s proposals are accepted by the government they could come into effect as soon as January 2020, with mitigation grants being available from early 2019.

Of course, Clean Air Zones are only part of the solution. These go hand in hand with other initiatives such as

  • investment in public transport infrastructure,
  • campaigns to reduce car use (eg car sharing, park and ride),
  • campaigns to encourage drivers to turn off their engines while queueing. (Heaven only knows why anti-idling devices are not fitted as standard on all new vehicles!)
  • to increase use of electric or hybrid vehicles, especially for taxis,
  • improved cycling and pedestrian routes and
  • other low cost tools such as optimising traffic lights.
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