ESA appoints Viridor boss as new Chair

The Environmental Services Association (ESA), a trade association for the UK’s waste management companies, has announced that Viridor Managing Director Phil Piddington as its new chairperson.

The announcement that it would be Piddington to replace the outgoing Dr Stewart Davies was made today (30 November) at the Annual Lunch for ESA Members and key industry stakeholders.

ESA appoint Viridor boss as new Chair
New ESA Chair Phil Piddington

In his speech at the lunch, Piddington outlined what the ESA’s priorities would be during his time as Chair:

  • Stronger producer responsibility that encourages better product and packaging design, and that properly funds the collection, separation and processing of materials;
  • Clear measures to encourage the use of increasing proportions of recycled content; and
  • Tackling waste crime.

During his speech, Piddington thanked Davies for his achievements during his tenure as Chair and highlighted the need for ESA to continue to work closely with the government and regulators and take advantage of the opportunity of the new Resources and Waste Strategy to drive up recycling performance and resource productivity.

He said: “We need stronger producer responsibility which encourages better product and packaging design, and which properly funds the collection, separation and processing of materials.

“To achieve real resource efficiency, we must ensure there are viable end markets but for this, we need, and hope to welcome, clear measures to encourage the use of increased proportions of recycled content. This could be achieved by using variable charges under the new producer responsibility scheme, or through the Treasury’s new plastics tax if rates are high enough. But, if these measures aren’t enough to encourage retailers and manufacturers to change their behaviour and use recycled content, then the government should go further and make it mandatory.”

Piddington also said the ESA would be prioritising the need to work with government on developing effective measures to stop criminals entering the waste sector and welcomed the recommendations of the recent serious and organised waste crime review, which shows that flytipping alone costs the economy £219 million each year in clean-up costs and lost revenues, and that fraud and misclassification of waste costs a similar amount.

Piddington was appointed Managing Director of Viridor in september 2016 following a stint as Chief Operating Officer of the company’s energy division from 2014. He has amassed more than 18 years of experience at a managerial level in the energy sector with companies including with BP Energy Ltd and RWE Innogy GmbH.