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Wise Up To Waste

North London Waste Prevention Exchange 2017

On Tuesday 16 February NLWA held its third North London Waste Prevention Exchange focusing on ‘The circular economy in a post-Brexit environment: the role of local government and business’.

The conference, held at Inmarsat Conference Centre in Islington, was attended by 88 delegates, including officers from central government, regional authorities, local authorities, the third and private sector.

From left to right: Philippe Micheaux Naudet, Dr Dominic Hogg, Matthieu Guerlain, Cllr Feryal Demirci, Miranda Schnitger, Wayne Hubbard, Mark Ash.

The conference was chaired by Cllr Feryal Demirci, Vice Chair of NLWA and Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods Transport and Parks, London Borough of Hackney. The first set of presentations offered delegates the opportunity to consider what the UK environmental policy would look like, post-Brexit and how the adoption of the EU circular economy package would impact on business and trading, whilst the second part of the morning conference session provided the opportunity to explore best practice examples from London, and across Europe.

 

Speakers

  • Paris City Council - Matthieu Guerlain, Director for Local Economic Development
  • Ellen MacArthur Foundation - Miranda Schnitger, Project Manager
  • Eunomia Research and Consulting - Dr Dominic Hogg, Founder and Chairman
  • London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) - Wayne Hubbard, Chief Operating Officer
  • Circular Europe Network (CEN), Association of Cities and Regions for Sustainable Resource Management (ACR+) - Philippe Micheaux Naudet, Senior Project Manager
  • East London Waste Authority - Mark Ash, Managing Director
  • Ricardo AEA Ltd – Sarahjane Widdowson, Principal Consultant

Five information stands were present in the reception area and provided delegates with information during the breaks. The full list of exhibitors is shown below:

  • Furniture Re-use Network Furniture/electrical/white goods reuse
  • Hubbub Reuse and reduction initiatives, as well as projects to tackle litter
  • Keep Britain Tidy Waste reduction and recycling initiatives
  • London Community Resource Network  Reusable nappies
  • NLWA Food waste prevention and dry mixed recycling

 

Afternoon workshop

During the afternoon, over 40 local authority delegates explored ‘How local authorities can frame an English circular economy strategy post-Brexit. Ten things you would say to the UK government’. Delegates were asked to assume that the current proposed circular economy package would be implemented, and consider which targets and proposals they felt were appropriate, and what the UK should be implementing. Six themes were presented to frame the discussion:

  • Extended producer responsibility and product design
  • Re-use
  • Dematerialisation/servitization
  • Green procurement
  • Recycling targets
  • Recycling capacity/market development

At the end of the workshop, the views of delegates were condensed and attendees identified the following 10 circular economy priorities as messages to the UK government:,

  1. Show leadership and provide clear policy direction, and develop a new waste strategy that is linked to the national infrastructure strategy;
  2. Lead by example on green (sustainable) procurement and to consider legislating for all public sector organisations;
  3. Move away from weight-based targets for measuring the recycling performance of local authorities;
  4. Consider using carbon targets as a universal metric for recycling performance;
  5. Add product design to the top of the waste hierarchy as a component of waste prevention;
  6. Focus on designing goods for reuse and repair;
  7. Remove VAT from repaired / reused items;
  8. Ensure Enhanced Producer Responsibility for products and packaging;
  9. Develop a national code of practice for servitisation (dematerialisation) of products and packaging; and
  10. Introduce a sales taxation based on the overall impact of a product.

Feedback from the event was positive. In terms of the overall rating, 95% (19) of the Exchange attendees who provided feedback  stated that the seminar was good/excellent. Additionally, 100% of delegates who provided feedback rated the presentations as good/excellent, with the most popular speakers being Matthieu Guerlain from Paris City Council and Miranda Schnitger from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

All presentations and a summary document will all be available to download from the North London Waste Prevention Exchange webpage, http://www.wiseuptowaste.org.uk/waste-less/north-london-waste-prevention-exchange.