APSE has welcomed the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan but has cautioned that if the rhetoric is to translate into action, more resources need to be made available to local government, with a greater focus on the “polluter pays” principle.
APSE Chief Executive Paul O’Brien said, “The tidal wave of waste washed ashore by Storm Eleanor was a stark reminder of how serious the issue of plastic pollution in our oceans has become. We therefore welcome government plans to tackle “throwaway culture” as outlined in the 25 Year Plan published today. However, delivering a greener and cleaner environment requires government to listen to and fully support local authority environmental services.”
He added, “With austerity continuing apace, the overall picture for local council finances remains grim. Without adequate funding for local environmental services, the government will seriously struggle to meet its green targets. Councils have long been at the forefront of bold environmental action; whether it’s Leeds City Council transitioning their fleet of vehicles to ultra-low emissions vehicles or Nottingham City Council tackling household energy inefficiency. APSE research has shown that councils are not only integral to successful environmental strategies at a local and regional level, but also impact upon national and global issues of climate change and energy provision.”
As councils are left to pick up the bill for non-recyclable waste and are increasingly forced to employ costlier methods of waste disposal, APSE is calling for greater regulation on waste producers; ensuring the environmental impact of products is factored into the manufacturing or retail processes. Where regulation includes new taxation, any monetary benefits should be made available to local councils to improve local environmental quality. This includes a shift away from shipping large volumes of poor quality recyclates to Europe and China - thereby commoditising the irresponsible behaviour of manufacturers - to developing green waste processing plants here in the UK.
APSE is calling for local councils to be given a central role in delivering the government’s 25 year Environment Plan. Failure to support and harness local government environmental service expertise will severely hinder the government’s ambitious green strategy.
APSE is the Association for Public Service, a not-for-profit organisation working with over 300 councils throughout the UK providing advice, support and research on frontline local government services.
For more information or to arrange for interview please contact Mo Baines, APSE Head of Communication & Coordination on 07971 843515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org