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Fortnightly Bulletin – 15th November 2021

16 November 2021

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Dates for the Diary

31st of December 2021

The following COVID-19 Regulatory Position Statements (RPS) have been extended until the 31st December 2021:

Accumulating radioactive waste that you cannot transfer because of COVID-19: RPS C13

COVID-19 and exceeding permit limits for medical use of radioactive substances: RPS C15

Cleansing and PPE waste at a healthcare waste management facility: RPS C1

Managing lateral flow device (LFD) testing waste: RPS C25

1st of January 2022

The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations (Amendment) Order 2021 will replace the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations Order 2007 and the Motor Fuel (Road Vehicle and Mobile Machinery) Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Regulations 2012 on 1 January 2022.

This order increases renewable fuel targets on transport fuel suppliers. These targets increase year-on-year from 2022 to 2032, with significantly higher obligations than previously applied.

Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations (Amendment) Order 2021

1st of January 2022

These regulations will allow owners of listed buildings to enter into heritage partnership agreements with the local planning authority, Welsh Ministers or both.

Heritage partnership agreements may authorise routine or regular works without requiring specific consent each time this work is undertaken. Owners of listed buildings may enter into heritage partnership agreements with the local planning authority, Welsh Ministers or both. These agreements may authorise the alteration or extension of the listed building concerned. Persons with a special knowledge of or interest in the building, may also be parties to these agreements.

Listed Buildings (Heritage Partnership Agreements) (Wales) Regulations 2021

1st of April 2022

Plastic packaging tax is to take effect on the 1st April 2022, businesses should check their permits for where recycled packaging is allowed under other conditions, such as with food safety.

Plastic packaging tax policy 2022

Legal Updates

The Environment Act 2021

The Environment Act 2021 has finally been passed for royal assent into UK Law. This Act establishes the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) as a new regulatory body for legislative enforcement regarding environmental issues.

The main aims of this Act are to:

  • Create a framework for legally binding targets
  • Move towards a circular resources and waste economy
  • Improve air quality
  • Secure our water services
  • Enhance our green spaces through creation of a biodiversity net gain requirement
  • Update laws on chemicals (REACH)

New additions include:

  • A requirement for ministers to make a statement to Parliament setting out the effect of new primary legislation on existing levels of environmental protection
  • A requirement for the Secretary of State to conduct a two-yearly review of the significant developments in international legislation on the environment and to publish a report on the findings
  • Requirement making it illegal for ‘larger’ businesses to use products in their activities unless they comply with local laws to protect natural areas.

Further additions are currently being drawn up and proposed to be included in the Act, some of these include:

  • Launched consultations on the deposit return schemes for drinks containers
  • Extended producer responsibility for packaging
  • Consistent recycling collections

To read more about the new Office of Environmental Protection, click here.

To read more about this new Act of Parliament, click here.

Guidance                                                                               

RPS 224: Collect and Treat Waste from Different Sites Within the Same Premises

This new Regulatory Position Statement is about the collection of non-hazardous waste produced at multiple different sites within a single identifiable premises.

For the use of this RPS, the individual collection sites within the premises must be owned and/or operated by (or on behalf of) a single owner or occupier. An example would include:

  • Separate retail units within a shopping centre
  • Separate tenanted units within an office block

This RPS was published on the 11th November 2021 and replaces RPS 225 ‘Collecting food waste from different premises at a single site’.

If you meet the conditions of this RPS, the Environment Agency is unlikely to take enforcement action if you collect and/or store and/or treat non-hazardous waste from multiple sites on the same premises. This RPS does not alter the legal obligations to obtain an Environmental permit, to register a waste exemption, or to comply with other relevant waste legislation.

To read more on this new guidance, click here.

Plastic Packaging Tax – Update from HMRC

This update provides new information, for example what to include on a tax return for PPT, and what other substances need to be considered for multi material packaging. The update also brings previously published guidance into the full guidance format, so all information businesses need to prepare for the tax will be together in one place.

Source: 360 environmental,  4th of November 2021.

Articles of Interest

Restoration Handbooks published to give best practise advice on creating new estuarine and coastal habitats

Three new environmental handbooks that set out guidance for the first time of how to carry out best practice estuarine and coastal habitat creation projects across the UK and Ireland have been published. The handbooks provide practical guidance on restoring and creating estuarine and coastal habitats, bringing together advice on planning and implementing such schemes with case studies and lessons from previous examples.

They will be a tool to support local authorities, community partnerships and environmental organisations on restoring blue carbon habitats – habitats that can absorb carbon dioxide, help achieve net zero and tackle climate change.

The three detailed handbooks have been written by academics, industry specialists and environmental organisations that are experts in the field:

  • Saltmarsh, led by the Environment Agency.
  • Seagrass, led by Zoological Society of London, University of Portsmouth and the Environment Agency.
  • Restoration of Estuarine and Coastal Habitats with Dredged Sediment, led by Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Environment Agency and marine consultancy and survey company ABPMer.

For access for the full article click here.

COP26: Scottish businesses among those leading world to Net Zero

As the world gathers together at the UN COP26 climate summit, the UK Government is calling on the global private sector to follow the UK’s example and join the UN Race to Zero.

Scotland’s largest businesses are among those across the UK leading the way in the global transition to net zero emissions. SSE, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest and Abrdn are part of a group of FTSE 100 businesses committing to eliminating their contribution to climate change by 2050.

As of today, 60 of the UK’s FTSE 100 companies have signed up to the United Nation’s Race to Zero campaign – the largest ever global alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest, backed by independent experts and organisations to ensure everyone in the race is following through on meeting their targets – signalling a strong shift in the UK economy to a greener future.

Also announced, over 2,000 small businesses from across the UK have pledged to reduce their emissions and join the Race to Zero through the Together For Our Planet Business Climate Leaders campaign, which was launched by the Boris Johnson  earlier this year to help small businesses go green.

For access for the full article click here.

$12 billion donor support to halt and reverse forest loss and protect land rights

12 countries from around the world will come together in Glasgow today (2 November) to pledge unprecedented levels of public finance for the protection, restoration and sustainable management of forests.

The $12 billion of climate finance will support activities including strengthening forest governance, supporting smallholder farmers to restore degraded land, strengthening land tenure systems, and mobilising private sector investment.

The UK will commit £1.5 billion over five years to support the forests pledge, including £350 million for tropical forests in Indonesia, £200 million for the LEAF Coalition, and up to £300 million intended for the Amazon.

Forests currently absorb around one-third of the global CO2 released from burning fossil fuels every year but we are losing them at an alarming rate – the equivalent to 27 football pitches every minute.

For access for the full article click here

Fines and Prosecutions

Brothers Sentenced Over Vehicles Stored at Illegal Waste Site

Two men have been convicted of waste crime after depositing, storing, and dismantling end of life vehicles (ELV’s) at their site without any form of Authorisation from the Environment Agency.

At West Hampshire Magistrates Court the two men plead guilty. One of the brothers was sentenced for the operation of an illegal facility for the deposit, storing, and treatment of ELV waste. He was sentenced to four months imprisonment suspended for 12 months, on top of an order for 150 hours community service and fines totaling £1,128. The second brother was prosecuted for knowingly permitting the operation of the illegal facility, and fined £2,000, as well as costs of £1,000 and £190 in Victim Surcharge.

The brothers were prosecuted and sentenced following a report from a member of the public about burnings which were taking place at the site. Upon inspection by both the Environment Agency and Police, approximately 150-200 vehicles were found on top of numerous car parts across the site, on top of this, no area of hardstanding was present, as well as drainage, or any other necessary infrastructure for a legal operation. After a plan was drawn up between the Environment Agency, New Forest District Council, and the brothers on the removal of the vehicles over a 12-month period, further inspections revealed very little removal.

The Acting Director for the Environment Agency, had this to say: “The conviction of the (brothers) serves as a reminder to people who exploit the waste industry that we are dedicated to pursuing law-breakers from the crime to the courtroom. We encourage anyone who is suspicious of potential waste crime activity to report it to us on 0800 807060.”

Source: gov.uk, November 2021.

Online learning and events

Introduction to Packaging Tax Webinar

22nd of November 2021, 13.45 – 14.45 (GMT)

This webinar will cover how the tax will operate. Topics will include:

  • What plastic packaging the tax applies to
  • Who is responsible for paying and accounting
  • Tax returns (reporting) and record keeping.

Book Now

Seize the moment: The Net Zero Carbon Inspiration Sessions

25th of November 2021, 12.30 -13.30 (GMT)

As the flagship digital event of edie Net-Zero November campaign, the Net-Zero Carbon Inspiration Sessions offer up an afternoon of live, interactive webinar presentations and discussions – all dedicated to accelerating your organisation’s decarbonisation progress.

Discussion points:

  • COP26 and the clean energy transition: What have we learnt?
  • From carbon pricing to energy efficiency: Policy priorities for UK energy managers
  • Making net-zero happen: Investment and decarbonisation pathways

Book Now

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