Waste reduction measures snuck in by government

Waste reduction measures snuck in by government

UKHospitality has questioned the government’s decision to set out next steps for plans to tackle waste reduction amid the distraction of the announcement of a new prime minister.

As Boris Johnson was confirmed as the next Conservative Party leader, the government published summaries of responses to four consultations, outlining steps to tackle packaging, which will lead to significant costs for business and consumers.

The government confirmed the proposed scope of the deposit return scheme for drinks containers would be fully consulted on in 2020.

It also stated it intends to mandate further segregation of business waste materials and set out the next steps for a proposed plastic tax at the 2019 Budget statement.

“Waste reduction is a critical issue for hospitality, businesses at large and the general public,” says UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls (pictured). “We take the issue seriously and we are very keen to do our part and work with the government to tackle the problem.

“It is disappointing then to see the government outline its next steps yesterday when all eyes were elsewhere. With the confirmation of a new prime minister grabbing headlines, it seems like a classic case of burying bad news. If the government is serious about engaging with businesses to find workable solutions to cut waste, then we would hope they would be honest with the public about the cost involved.

“Any deposit return scheme needs to be consistent across the whole United Kingdom. There is still a worry that the scope of the scheme may be unwieldy for hospitality outlets. Including coffee cups would likely be a logistical nightmare and the government needs to provide more clarity on this.”

UKHospitality says that any additional requirement for businesses to separate waste materials needs to be met with a higher level of service of waste collection.

“We are very happy to engage and to promote reduction of waste among our members and the hospitality sector as a whole. Arguably rushing the news out under cover of darkness does nobody any favours and we need to see a more open approach from the new administration.”