For the fourth successive year the Annual SWWRF Conference, which took place on Wednesday 12th June 2019, was held at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.
The 13th annual conference focused on the new resources and waste strategy for England. Excellent guest speakers provided industry expert insight and opinions into the highly debated topics: Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) and local authority strategy to improve nationwide municipal recycling rates.
The importance of recycling was emphasised by waste consultancy, Eunomia who highlighted the environmental and economic consequences of climate change. This was succeeded by comprehensive data on the potential carbon dioxide and financial savings from higher recycling capture rates, which all SWWRF members are passionately working towards.
The potential implementation of DRS features heavily through the conference and waste consultancy, Resource Futures provided examples of international DRS schemes working successfully, how the Zero Waste Scotland DRS scheme will be introduced, and the types of materials which should be targeted by DRS.
The DRS theme was continued by plastics recycling charity, Recoup sharing their research into how the Norway DRS model might work in the UK, and the extra potential plastics capture rates we can expect if DRS was implemented. However, Recoup also identified challenges around how DRS is implemented and fits in around EPR.
Metal packaging industry body, Alupro shared their new research findings on high aluminium recycling capture rates in the UK and the cost effectiveness EPR could bring to business around the UK through reducing packing and higher recycling capture rates.
DRS and EPR opinions from a waste contractors perspective were provided by Suez, and the scale of the challenge if the UK is to reach a 70% recycling rate for both municipal and business waste with insight into changes that need to be made.
A local authority perspective was provided by Gloucestershire Joint Waste Partnership who gave their opinions and responses to the new waste and resources strategy for England and what services they are providing to increase their recycling rate.
Additionally, Resource Efficiency for Wales provided an insight to the importance of collaboration between local authorities and how statutory recycling targets have influenced Welsh Councils collection methods, investment and strategy to reach a 64% recycling target for the 2019/20 financial year.
Finally, Litter Free Dorset provided an overview on their campaigns and set examples of community engagement programmes that could be followed.
SWWRF have received excellent feedback from delegates and hope to see everyone soon at our next event.
This event was a CIWM CPD approved event and was kindly sponsored by: