Our system of waste management is failing us

All producers of goods, including foodstuffs, will be required to produce a plan which shows their usage and subsequent disposal with an approved audit trail. These could be part of an adapted ISO9000 scheme, revised ISO14000 or a new standard altogether. For foodstuffs and other consumables, this will concentrate on packaging but for manufactured goods and durables, it will include the goods themselves. In particular, vehicles and white goods will be subject to these new arrangements. Small producers will be encouraged to take advantage of collective schemes.

It is proposed that a variable VAT rate will be used to penalize the production of waste which is not actually biodegradable or recycled. For consumables such as foodstuffs, it is the packaging which is measured but the VAT is applied to the whole of the produce. This is a departure from current practice whereby foodstuffs are zero rated.

The VAT rates for goods and foodstuffs packaging could be based on:

• 100% bio, reused or recycled – 0% VAT

• better than 90% RoR – 10% VAT

• better than 80% RoR – 20% VAT

• better than 70% RoR – 30% VAT

• better than 50% RoR = 50% VAT

• less than 50% RoR – 100% VAT

A new definition for biodegradable will be required and the percentages should be based on that actually ‘recycled’ rather than just ‘recyclable’.




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