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New resources and waste strategy Biffa reaction

18 • December • 2018

New resources and waste strategy Biffa reaction

Read Biffa's reaction on DEFRA's long-awaited strategy and associated announcements.

18 December 2018

New Resources and Waste strategy - Biffa reaction 

“We welcome the initiatives set out in DEFRA’s long-awaited strategy and associated consultation announcements, which finally outline the investment and policy commitments to create a comprehensive, collaborative approach towards waste and recycling. This review represents an opportunity to transform our sector with up to £8bn of private investment and 50,000 jobs, according to the ESA, and we’re pleased that the government has provided a new framework to help deliver it. As a society, we must now ensure we are more aligned than ever to deliver these benefits.

“We have been highlighting the need for increased producer responsibility to tackle waste at source, particularly plastics and phasing out hard to recycle materials, so it’s good to see this reflected in the strategy. Measures like an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme should encourage and incentivise waste producers to rethink packaging design for recyclability.

“As more companies highlight the measures they are taking towards more sustainable packaging design, this, alongside clearer labelling, will increase consumer awareness at the buying stage and reduce confusion over recycling. In turn, this should drive stronger end markets for more recycled materials here in the UK and reduce reliance on export markets.

“Increased investment in the UK’s recycling services and infrastructure is essential if we are to meet the government’s new targets. This strategy highlights both the emerging opportunities for private investors, as well as promoting new funding support mechanisms through measures like deposit return schemes and reform of the packaging waste recovery note (PRN) system.

“We have already created better end markets for items like PET drinks bottles and HPDE milk containers – our Biffa Polymers plant processes these extremely successfully and we’ve recently announced a further £15m investment in a similar PET facility near Sunderland – but we need more. This strategy will hopefully act as a catalyst to generate new infrastructure investment into plants for recycling, energy-from-waste schemes and, where necessary, safe disposal.

“We’ve also been calling for separate food waste collections for a long time so it’s positive to see this now included, as it is in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. As regards other separate recycling collections, it will be important to consider the benefits of models currently used, allowing for appropriate mixed recycling collections, which have proved to be successful

“Now government policy has been set out, we must work together across supply chains and public and private sectors to move from short-term, interim initiatives to fundamental, long term actions. We look forward to working with customers and policy-makers in the coming months as specific consultations on PRN reform, deposit return schemes and collection consistency are rolled out.”


Notes to Editors:

Biffa is a leading UK-based integrated waste management business. The Group operates across the breadth of the waste management value chain, including the collection, treatment, processing and disposal of waste and recyclable materials, as well the production and sale of energy derived from waste and the sale of recovered commodities such as paper, glass, metals and plastic. Biffa’s customer base for these services includes local authorities (which includes the collection of waste from households), large corporates and SMEs, and purchasers of end-product commodities and energy. Across its operations, the Group handled approximately 7.8mT and treated approximately 3.7mT of waste in Fiscal Year 2018. The Group’s services are organised across four operating divisions: Industrial & Commercial; Municipal; Resource Recovery & Treatment (RR&T); and Energy employing c.7,900 people. In Fiscal Year 2018, the Group’s total revenue was £1076.7 million and its underlying EBITDA was £150.0 million. Biffa trades on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities under the ticker “BIFF”.

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