Five years after the 25 year Environment Plan (EP) was released, Government have published the Environment Improvement Plan (EIP) 2023; the first of the five-yearly revisions of the EP. The targets set out in the plan cover habitats, air, water, resources and waste, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and boosting green growth and creating new jobs.

On waste, the EIP targets include:

  • reducing the total mass of residual waste,
  • reducing residual food waste to 64kg per capita by January 2028, representing a 50% reduction from 2019 levels,
  • developing policies for the near elimination of biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill by 2028,
  • achieving a municipal recycling rate of 65% by 2035,
  • and eliminating waste crime and illegal sites by 2042.

On waste collections, the EIP sets out plans to introduce a consistent household and business waste collections policy, which will mean that the same recyclable waste streams are collected for recycling from all households. Government has also committed to providing capital funding for local authorities in England to prepare to implement free separate food waste collections for all households.

They have also introduced a range of interim targets for January 2028 including that residual municipal food waste must not exceed 64kg per capital – representing a 50% reduction from 2019 levels which will hopefully drive high performing food waste collections.

The EIP also considers Air Quality including proposals to tighten the emissions from new wood stoves in Smoke Control Areas, reducing the limit from 5g per hour to a maximum of 3g. While this is not expected to impact Biomass boiler installations, it should be noted government intends to continue to tighten emission regulations.

The REA also supports the incentives for farmers and land managers to improve soil health and restore peatlands.