Did You Know That'Waste Not, Want Not: Important Update To Waste (Circular Economy) Regulations

Publication Date28 September 2020
SubjectEnvironment, Environmental Law, Waste Management
Law FirmClyde & Co
AuthorMr Rod Hunt

As the UK seeks to move towards its vision of a circular economy, which includes keeping resources in use for as long as possible, minimising waste and promoting resource efficiency, we consider the key changes set out in the recent Waste (Circular Economy) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 and what these mean for the waste industry.

What are the Regulations?

The Waste (Circular Economy) (Amendment) Regulations 20201, transpose the EU's 2020 Circular Economy Package ("2020 CEP") in England and Wales and come into force on 1 October 2020.

The 2020 CEP sets out the European Commission's planned initiatives for a framework to make sustainable products, services and business models the norm. The Regulations amend the following:

What are the key changes?

Most of the substantive changes under the 2020 CEP affect the Waste Framework Directive 2008 and the Landfill Directive 1999 as follows:

  • To prevent waste generation and to monitor and assess the implementation of those measures. These measures must be included in waste prevention programmes.
  • To require more detail on the circumstances under which separate collection of waste is not necessary to ensure that waste is prepared for re-use, recycling or other recovery operations2.
  • To ensure waste collected separately for re-use or recycling is not incinerated or landfilled, except where waste resulting from subsequent treatment operations of the separately collected waste is incinerated and this is the best environmental outcome in accordance with the waste hierarchy3.
  • A requirement for hazardous waste that is mixed unlawfully to be separated where that is technically feasible. Amendments to the Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 will require hazardous waste that has been mixed lawfully to be treated at a permitted facility4 and will only prohibit mixing waste oils where mixing would impede its regeneration or recycling5.
  • To require additional matters to be included in waste management plans6 and in waste prevention programmes when they are established7.
  • To require certain undertakings to keep records of the quantity of materials and products resulting from the treatment of...

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