Recycling Weekly Putting secondary materials first June 30 2011 Issue No.760
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Regulation is essential to stimulate growth, says report
Sea, sun, sand and waste management Find out why this year's Plant and Waste Recycling Show (PAWRS) saw an increased visitor attendance of 30% on last year. • Page 4
Taking a safe approach to shredders and balers Despite an increase of sophisticated technology in machines like compactors, they are still machines to be handled with care. • Page 9
REGULATION IS an essential tool to stimulate growth and “a crude deregulatory drive would risk damaging competitiveness” warned a report published by the Aldersgate Group, an alliance of leaders from business, politics and society. Regulation should seek to achieve "best value" and all regulations should be assessed on merit, added the report entitled Dealing with Deficits which comes hot on the heels of the government's waste review. The report highlighted the negative impact of putting "sensible environmental regulations at risk such as through the Red Tape Challenge with the consequent loss of business confidence".
Waste review: Was it a nudge or a shove? The 2011 waste review was meant to be the coalition government's opportunity to set out its stall on waste. Despite all the hype, why did it not fulfil its promise? • Page 16
“While the government is committed to reducing the cost and volume of regulation on the economy through measures such as a 'one- in, one-out' rule, the report questions whether it makes sense to address pressing environmental challenges such as climate change," continued the report's authors. "This is an example of a market failure that requires more, and not less, regulation to safeguard the environment and drive growth in new industries.” Peter Young, chairman of the Aldersgate Group, added: "It is a myth that all businesses want less regulation." According to Spencer
Feldman of waste management specialist, Waste Concern, regulation is not just important to help make businesses globally
competitive: it is fundamental for future waste management in the UK. “However, not all businesses want less regulation. We only want the right parameters in place to help make our jobs easier and more efficient, benefiting not just us, but also the consumer and the environment. "We should not be
focussed on having more or less guidelines; we need to be focussed on what regulations are in place that enable us to run our business more successfully,” Feldman told RWW.
“Privatising the industry in the UK and having regulations to support this move will drive down costs for consumers and ultimately benefit the environment. I appreciate that certain regulations are
required, but incentives are also in need. An abundance of laws and policies won’t necessarily help the situation; it is a case that the right laws and policies need to be in place to help make the practices run efficiently and effectively.
"A little more thought and consultation with the industry could go a long way to improving the industry now and in the future.” An emphasis on the reduction of unnecessary inefficiencies is also important, according to Simon Catford, Viridor’s corporate responsibility and regulatory director.
He said: “There remains plenty of opportunities to review and consolidate environmental regulations. This could reduce unnecessary
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inefficiencies and the burden these place on businesses across all sectors.” Paul Davison, managing director of Proteus Public Relations, accused the government of “empty rhetoric”. He told RWW: “The 'one- in, one-out' rule gave the government a great sound bite, but it is yet another example of this administration speaking without substance. "As a communications strategy it is not a good position to adopt and it completely misses the point. "The waste industry is not going to be fooled by empty rhetoric: what it wants is clear leadership and a robust framework in which to operate. “Regulations are about clarity of purpose. They send a clear message to
the industry about what is expected from them. When done well, regulations can also provide a good opportunity for responsible companies to demonstrate best practice by providing a benchmark by which performance can be measured," added Davison. "Regulations are
therefore invaluable as a communications tool because they provide a point of certainty that everyone can understand.”
Leander Clarke at
communications specialist, PPS Group, pointed out that: “This report underlines the regulatory gap between what is promised in parliament and what is achievable in the real world where ‘low carbon’ comes at a price. While politicians fight over the best way of regulating a transition to a low carbon economy, businesses face policy uncertainty that undermines investor confidence.
“While the much extolled Green Investment Bank will help channel capital towards low carbon infrastructure projects, its inability to borrow from capital markets and the private sector until 2015 may lead to a recycling of public money. GIB will also not be a cheap option for investment and therefore capital must be forthcoming outside of this. Clarke predicted that:
“We are still likely to see uncertainty in the market which will hamper investment. Until government can deliver a regulatory framework that works for businesses in the real world this investment will continue to fail.”
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