Maximising resources, minimising waste programme

The new Maximising Resources, Minimising Waste programme has been published. It was previously known as the Waste Prevention Programme for England.

The programme lays out actions and policy intentions in relation to three cross-cutting areas: products and design, systems and data/information; and seven key sectors chosen for their size and impact: construction, textiles, furniture, electronics, food, road vehicles and plastics.

Examples of initiatives featured include:

  • Funding an industry-led pilot extended producer responsibility scheme for textiles;
  • Bringing forward proposals to reform the batteries regulations by the end of 2023; and
  • Considering new eco-design options for furniture to reduce waste and increase recycling.

Read the programme in full here. There is a summary of policies here.

Some measures to note include the below:

  • Plans to revise the waste hierarchy guidance in 2024 setting clear expectations for how decisions on waste treatment routes should be made. Defra will also consider whether changes to waste legislation could be usefully made to support a more circular economy.
  • Defra will issue the Government response on proposals for the introduction of mandatory digital waste tracking  in 2023, and expect to start private beta testing the digital platform later in 2023. The dates for mandatory implementation will be subject to the time needed for IT development, and the transition time needed by businesses.
  • Defra and DESNZ will work with other departments, and industry to continue to explore options to support greater accessibility and quality of materials data. The shared objective is to provide greater visibility of material flows to support the resilience and circularity of industrial supply chains.
  • DESNZ and Defra are collaborating on a major research project that aims to better understand the carbon abatement potential of resource efficiency measures in different sectors, including approaches which advance the circular economy. The work will inform future policy development.
  • Provide over £1 million in funding in 2023-24 to support consumer campaigns to help households waste less food.
  • Consistent recycling collections for households will come in after the implementation of the extended producer responsibility scheme. More details on this will be set out in due course.