Waste and resource industry responds to Liz Truss’ appointment as new PM

As Liz Truss is called to her appointment as leader of the Conserative Party and Prime Minister, organisations within the waste and resource management industry respond to her election and what this could mean for the future of the industry.

Liz Truss sat at table

Many representatives called to light the importance of utilising existing resources to effectively respond to the ongoing cost-of-living and energy crisis. Addressing the situation using waste and existing resources, they claim, could also have an ongoing positive impact on the environment and aid in the UK’s adoption of a circular economy

A representative from LARAC shared: “LARAC wishes the Prime Minister well in her new role and hopes that she recognises and addresses the environmental issues that are underpinning some of the cost of living and energy supply pressures the UK is experiencing. Waste is a reliable source of renewable green energy that will uncouple the UK from reliance on overseas energy supplies.

“The extremes in climate we are witnessing can be tackled by reducing our reliance on our planet’s natural resources and their over extraction. Increasing green energy production and a more circular economy are urgent issues and LARAC looks forward to working with her and her new Cabinet team to address them, especially on implementing the policies in the Resources and Waste Strategy for England.”

Following her appointment, the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) released an open letter to the new PM, accompanying a position paper, urging for swift action to be taken to address unsustainable living costs in the UK. The paper calls on the Government to deliver on its promises of support for Energy Intensive Industries.

In the paper, the body calls for a commitment to lower industrial energy prices through the British Energy Security Strategy, as well as the establishment of an innovation fund paid by the £10 billion (to date) UK ETS allowance auction receipts.

Further, the CPI makes an appeal for measures to curb excessive carbon tax rises, in addition to a coherent UK industrial strategy to rebalance the economy and promote UK industrial growth.

Andrew Large, Director General of CPI, commented: “We urge the new Prime Minister to match the severity of the current energy crisis with actions to support the UK paper industries and our other manufacturing companies.  Paper-based products are fundamental to a number of critical supply chains.  The sharp increase in energy costs coupled with an inability to pass on those costs to customers in a competitive European Market is causing substantial problems for our Members. 

“We note that the European Union has adopted a Crisis Framework that enables support for energy intensive industries together with energy market reform and we urge our UK Government to match their actions.  Failure to act risks an immediate decline in UK investment attractiveness and further falls in UK productive capacity.

“The products that our members produce are ubiquitous in society. They are toilet paper and hand towels; food packaging and online delivery boxes; newsprint and magazine papers; as well as a host of other specialty papers that are used in advanced manufacturing, battery making and within the NHS.

“The long term supply of many of these products from UK mills is now at greater risk than at any time in recent years. UK jobs and supply chains are in question, and unless action is taken swiftly, then the impacts will be clearly noticed by consumers as supermarket shelves empty and home deliveries slow.”

In light of Truss’ previous role as Environment Secretary from 2014 to 2016, industry voices also express a hope that this experience will allow the new PM to prioritise environmental concerns across her appointment. 

Lee Marshall, Policy and External Affairs Director for CIWM, said: "CIWM would like to congratulate Liz Truss on her appointment as Prime Minister. We would hope that the PM's time as a former Secretary of State for the Environment means that she will continue to prioritise the environment and support the recycling and resource management sector in its efforts to help the UK reach its Net Zero and circular economy goals. 

“There are several initiatives that require the PM’s immediate attention to ensure valuable time and momentum is not lost. These include the Government’s plans for the ambitious waste collection and packaging reforms agenda.”

Jacob Hayler, Executive Director of the Environment Services Association, pays specific attention to the resources and waste policy reforms already promised by previous Conservative Governments.

He comments: Executive Director of the ESA, Jacob Hayler, said: “We recognise that addressing the cost-of-living and energy crises are going to be at the top of the new Prime Minister’s in-tray, but we look forward to working with Liz Truss and the ministerial team she appoints to Defra as quickly as possible - getting back to the business of successfully delivering the long-awaited resources and waste policy reforms proposed and developed by successive Conservative governments.

“As a former Secretary of State at Defra, we hope the new Prime Minister will recognise the opportunities inherent in delivering the Resources and Waste Strategy reforms, which will contribute significantly to a more resource-efficient and thrifty economy in the UK, while also protecting the environment and unlocking more than 10 billion pounds worth of investment by ESA members alone in circular economy jobs and infrastructure.”

Likewise, Simon Ellin, Chief Executive of The Recycling Association, added: “We of course welcome Liz Truss to the role and it is good to see a former Environment Secretary become Prime Minister.

“We would like to see certainty and that means carrying on with the Resources & Waste Strategy and ensuring it gets implemented along the timescales that we have currently. It has the potential to transform the recycling sector for the better, and the sooner it happens the entire supply chain and the circular economy will benefit.

“Our Members will also be keen to see what assistance is available to help with energy bills for businesses. Recycling and waste companies are often quite energy intensive, and so will welcome any support that allows them to continue to collect, sort, process and recycle materials.”