Environment Minister Lord Henley has recently set out plans to help businesses reduce their waste and increase recycling through responsibility deals. It is hoped that this will remove the need for further regulation within the waste management sector, leading to less waste and more recycling. Such deals could have the added benefi ts of businesses saving money and helping to protect the environment.

Lord Henley has said that “businesses, like householders, should be encouraged to do the right thing”. Businesses produce more than twice the amount of waste produced by households; it is therefore critical that businesses manage their waste correctly. Penalising businesses, however, is not the answer. Schemes such as the Courtauld Commitment on grocery retail packaging and food waste have been successful. Voluntary arrangements aim to deliver results for businesses and their customers, encouraging competition, innovation and stimulating growth in a cost effective manner.

These voluntary arrangements are one of several proposals outlined as part of a review of waste policy, launched on 29 July 2010. The review will look at what policies are needed to reduce the amount of waste generated and to maximise reuse and recycling, while also considering how waste policies affect local communities, individual households and businesses. The report will be published in spring 2011. Further information can be found at the following link: ww2.defra.gov.uk/2010/07/29/waste-news/