Fortnightly Bulletin – 17th April 2023
17 April 2023
Food and drink waste hierarchy: deal with surplus and waste
On the 18th of December 2018, guidance on the food and drink waste hierarchy was produced for anyone who produces, handles, treats or disposes of surplus or waste food and drink.
The food and drink waste hierarchy is as follows, with options 1-4 offering guidance on how to prevent food waste, and options 5-8 being required by law:
- Prevent surplus and waste in your business.
- Redistribute surplus food and drink.
- Make animal feed from former food.
- Process surplus food to make biomaterials.
- Recycle – anaerobic digestion and composting.
- Recover waste by landspreading.
- Recover energy from waste.
- Dispose – send to sewer and landfill.
This guidance has been updated.
Articles of Interest
Crackdown on fly-tipping continues with new grants for councils
On the 8th of April 2023, Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, announced that grants totalling £775,000 will help 21 councils roll out a range of projects to crack down on fly-tipping.
- roadside CCTV and social media campaigns in Plymouth,
- targeted surveillance at hotspot areas in Pendle,
- portable CCTV cameras to patrol and capture footage across Northumberland,
- anti-climb fencing to protect neighbourhood areas in Hyndburn, including community orchards and wildflower meadows,
- larger recycling bins in better locations in Mansfield.
Councils will have six months to roll out their initiatives, before sharing how this worked in practice and helping other councils to develop similar schemes.
The new grants announced will build on the successes of the first round of projects, which provided £450,000 to 11 councils in 2022.
The projects funded in the first round included building new community gardens in fly-tipping hotspots in Thanet, and CCTV with automatic number-plate recognition in Buckinghamshire. In Durham, the County Council introduced educational bin stickers, permanent signage and installed CCTV onto existing lighting columns, which resulted in a 68% reduction in fly-tipping within three months.
Plastic wet wipes ban planned in England to tackle pollution
Environment Minister, Therese Coffey, has informed BBC News that a ban on wet wipes containing plastic in England should come into force in 2024.
It is part of a wider plan to improve water quality in England, where no river or waterway is considered ‘clean’. However, opposition and environment groups criticized the plan as weak.
Wet wipes flushed down toilets cause 93% of sewer blockages, including so-called fatbergs, and cost around £100m a year to clear up, according to Water UK which represents the water industry.
Around 90% of wipes contained plastic in 2021, although there are now some alternatives available to buy. The plastics do not break down and over time the wipes become snagged and stick together, causing sewage to stop moving through pipes.
The wet wipes ban is part of a broader strategy, called Plan for Water, in which the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is aiming to improve England’s water quality. It includes a potential ban on some types of so-called forever chemicals or PFAS, tackling pollution from farming and run-off from road traffic.
The government announced, on the 2nd of April 2023, that water companies could face unlimited fines for releasing untreated sewage into rivers and seas without good reason. Figures show an average of 825 sewage spills per day into England’s waterways in the last year.
Fines and Prosecutions
Company and directors fined £56,000 for illegally storing waste
A company and two of its directors, pleaded guilty to eight offences that took place between December 2017 and 2019 at a site in Essex.
The company was storing large amounts of wood and carpet waste illegally, by failing to comply with waste exemptions and keep the relevant records regarding where the waste was being sent to.
The Environment Agency (EA) asked the company numerous times to clear the non-compliant waste from the site in Essex, which EA officers visited 24 times. In March 2018, it was cleared and the site was brought back into compliance, however, within six weeks it was in breach again.
In February 2018, Essex County Fire and Rescue visited the site with the EA and their tests showed that wood under storage was reaching internal temperatures of 65°C posing a fire risk. There was an additional concern as the site is located near a protected woodland. Firefighters were called to the site in 2021 and 2022.
The company was fined £10,500 plus a victim surcharge of £170. One director was fined £7,150 plus a victim surcharge of £170, and the other director was fined £3,900 plus a victim surcharge of £170. Both directors and the company were also ordered to pay £12,000 each in costs.
EA Environment Manager, Aaron Scott, said: “We support businesses trying to do the right thing, only issuing enforcement notices and penalising businesses as a last resort. X and its directors were given advice on numerous occasions and told to remove the waste from the site but failed to do so.”
Source: Materials Recycling World (MRW)
Online Learning and Events
Do you work in or near watercourses?
20th April 2023 13:00-14:00
Cura Terrae is bringing together environmental experts from across the organisation to explain environmental permitting, licensing and Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) requirements for those planning a project which will affect a watercourse. Topics covered will include;
- When do you need an environmental permit?
- Applying for an environmental permit – timescales and requirements
- What is Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG)?
- How BNG might affect your projects after November 2023
Webinar: using objective data and insights to navigate the subjective world of ESG
27th April 2023 14:00 – 15:00pm
This session will provide attendees with information on how to derive and leverage objective ESG data points that facilitate impact, drive stakeholder and shareholder value, and avoid ‘greenwashing’. Specific topics to be discussed include:
• How to define ‘ESG’ for your industry.
• Valuable tools and techniques that will continuously drive fact-based ESG management decision.
• Why objectivity in a subjective discipline creates a competitive edge.
• How ESG is changing the role of the EHS professional.
Webinar: scope 3 and resource efficiency; practical examples from the building sector
13th June 2023 13.30-14:30pm
Building operations, refurbishments, and the changing use of space to accommodate more flexible ways of working and wellbeing criteria has the potential to generate more waste and disposal of items no longer required. This is contributing not only to the use of resources, but also to the carbon emissions associated with the lifecycle of these items.
The development of a Scope 3 Standard by and for the FM sector seeks to provide consistency and to promote circular economy principles into the role of FM and building management. During this session, a panel of experts and practitioners will discuss the role of circular economy in FM and provide examples of practical engagement to help reduce scope 3 emissions.
This will be an ideal opportunity for anyone managing estates or working on resource efficiency for physical estates to learn from the development of this project, with time scheduled for a Q&A session with the speakers.