Former Defra director announced as new CIWM chief executive

The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) has announced today (1 August) that the ex-director of environmental quality at Defra, Colin Church, will be replacing outgoing chief executive Steve Lee in October.

Church said: “CIWM members, and the waste and resource management sector as a whole, need strong professional standards to help ensure the sector delivers in both its key roles; protection of human health and the environment and the sustainable economic development so important to us all.”

Church’s experience with Defra saw him have a hand in establishing a number of environmental policies and tackling key issues such as climate change adaption, industrial pollution prevention, air quality, local environment quality, resource efficiency and waste, and sustainable procurement.

Church also oversaw the setting of the fourth UK carbon budget and the implementation of the second and third phases of the EU Emissions Trading System. Additionally, Church was also responsible for leading the effort to reduce central Government’s carbon emissions by 10% over the span of a year.

Speaking of his successor, CIWM’s outgoing chief executive Lee said: “There was a very strong field of candidates for the role and I would like to warmly congratulate Church; it is very clear that his experience across a wide range of complex environmental and regulatory agendas will benefit CIWM enormously.”

Packaging report

The announcement of the new chief executive comes just weeks after CIWM released its latest Presidential report, which explored various EU approaches and solutions to packaging waste in the wake of Brexit.

The Packaging Waste Recovery report looked into four approaches to packaging waste throughout Europe, considering the cost and impact of the schemes and focusing on a few key considerations which could potentially be embraced in the UK’s current approach to packaging waste regulations.

In judging specific approaches to extended producer responsibility (EPR) across Europe, CIWM confirmed the importance of competition in maintaining cost burden on producer. However, the organisation also reiterated that more work will be required to understand the full extent of the relationship if the ‘full cost recovery proposal’ were to be followed.

Additionally, the UK Packaging Recovery Note (PRN) system was underperforming in comparison to other systems across Europe in supporting the collection of household packaging waste and the development of domestic reprocessing capacity, CIWM found.

CIWM President Professor Jim Baird said at the time: “Whether waste and resource management policy in the future is developed within a European, UK-wide or national context, it is clear that EPR will be an important part of the mix.

“The current uncertainty as a result of the vote to leave the EU should not deter us from asking what this type of approach can, and should be seeking to, achieve and whether our existing legislation is fit for purpose.”

CIWM represents 6,000 individuals across the waste management sector, with an overarching goal to promote professional competence and produce best practice guidance, training initiatives and research on key waste issues.

Alex Baldwin

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