The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published “Commercial and Industrial Waste in England: Statement of Aims and Action 2009” on 13 October 2009. The Statement provides guidance on how the Waste Strategy for England, which was published in 2007, will be further implemented by Defra and sets out its aims and actions to meet its goal of the UK becoming a “zero waste” nation. On the same day, Hilary Benn, the Secretary of State, also made reference to the UK becoming a “zero waste” nation at an industry conference.

Although welcomed by trade associations, Defra’s statement deals only with commercial and industrial waste. Construction and demolition waste has therefore not been dealt with and Friends of the Earth have been less than positive about it, stating that tougher recycling targets should be imposed by the Government. Defra has however indicated that it intends to consult on options for introducing further restrictions on landfi lling of recyclable and biodegradable wastes in early 2010. The Statement further sets out Defra’s aims to amend the guidance on the waste duty of care and to conduct a new survey of business’s awareness of the legal duties with respect to waste disposal.