Summary Management Plan for England, and a local policy,

Summary 

There
are wide-ranging waste management policies in England which deliver the objectives of the Waste Framework
Directive (WFD) (GOV.UK, 2013). The purpose of these policies is to protect
both the environment and human health (GOV.UK, 2013); thus, reducing harmful impacts of ill
waste management and resource use (GOV.UK, 2013). Therefore, in this report,
the Waste Management Plan for England and Surrey Council’s Joint Municipal
Waste Management Strategy will be analysed (Surrey, 2018). 

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

Accordingly,
within this report, England’s Waste Management Plan for England and Surrey
Council’s Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy
relating to health and the environment will be reviewed. The report will
demonstrate the link between health and the environment; relating it to the
national policy of the Waste Management Plan and the local policy of Surrey
Council’s Joint Municipal Waste Management
Strategy, taking account of the health effects. 

 

Introduction  

This
report will discuss the topic of how political approaches and policies can
potentially contribute to health and well-being. The report will detail a
national policy, the Waste Management Plan for England, and a local policy,
Surrey Council’s Joint Municipal Waste Management
Strategy. It will include the reasons for their emergence and a critical
analysis of their efficacy; considering the importance of partnership
working. 

 

 

 

 

Discussion  

Link between Health and the Environment 

According
to the World Health Organisation (WHO), ‘health’ is the complete absence of
illness from the physical, mental and “social well-being” of an
individual (WHO, 2018). Whereas, the Oxford Dictionary refers the noun
‘environment’ as to the “surroundings or conditions” in which people,
“animal, or plant” operate in (Oxford Dictionaries, 2018). 

Referring
to the Imperial College London (2018), the human health is linked to our
environment. An estimated 25% of deaths and diseases are globally linked to our
environmental hazards (Imperial College London, 2018); and many of these
hazards are created or worsened by human activities (Imperial College London,
2018). In addition, WHO stated that the environment is a major determinant of
health with an estimate of 20% of deaths in the WHO European Region being due
to the people’s environment (WHO, 2018). Consequently, managing the environment
for health and managing health for the environment became a growing priority on
both the public and global health agenda (Imperial College London, 2018) (WHO,
2018). 

Evidences
against a hazardous environment to human health was and continues to be
concerning (WHO, 2018); which was why it leads
to the development of policies and public health approaches to tackle these
environmental health issues (WHO, 2018). 

Waste Management Policies

According
to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA, 2013), throughout human history, there has been a
focus of ensuring that extracts from resources do not produce excessive amounts
of waste. Consequently, in the UK, an importance is placed on ensuring that
waste is optimally managed; so that the hazardous impacts and costs to society
of dealing with waste are prevented or minimised (Rushton, 2003). If this
wasn’t the case, there would be detrimental human health and environmental
consequences (Rushton, 2003). For example, incorrect disposal of waste can
generate high levels of methane and carbon dioxide gases; other gases emitted
at lower concentrations are hydrogen sulphide and mercury vapour (Rushton,
2003). Therefore, a range of policies was
introduced to prevent adverse health effects to the population and
environment (DEFRA, 2013).

 

National planning policy is
developed to enable local
authorities to put planning strategies in place through their local plans. This would
aid them to model types of waste facilities in their areas. The national
planning policy on waste is illustrated in “Planning for Sustainable Waste
Management” from the ‘Planning Policy Statement 10’ (DEFRA, 2013); now replaced
to ‘National Planning Policy for Waste’ (GOV.UK,
2014).

These measures facilitate authorities to move waste further up
the “Waste Management Hierarchy” set out
by the Waste Framework Directive (2008) (WFD) (DEFRA, 2013); refer to the image below.

(EC, 2016)

 

The Waste Framework Directive
(1998 – 2008) was designed by the European Commissioners (EC, 2016), to outline
the basic principles, concepts and definitions relating to waste management
(EC, 2016). It puts emphasis on managing waste without “endangering human
health” and harming the environment (EC, 2016). The Directive gives a duty to
the EU Member States to develop waste legislation
and policy, following the order of the waste management hierarchy previously
shown (EC, 2016).

In addition, there is an EU target for the UK to
recycle at least 50% of household waste by 2020 (DEFRA, 2016). There is an EU
target to restrict BMW landfilled to 35% of the 1995 baseline by 2020. The
European Union’s (EU) forty years interventions have helped the UK to transform
their waste treatment from landfill-based disposal towards better recycling and
stricter environmental controls (Cardiff University et al, 2017). EU
legislation aided the UK to adopt the idea of a ‘waste hierarchy’ (EC, 1975)
(EC, 2008) (Cardiff University, 2017) in which landfill disposals are to be
reduced in favour of solutions higher up the hierarchy (Cardiff University et
al, 2017), refer to an alternative example of the waste hierarchy below.   (EC, 2008)
(Cardiff University et al, 2016)

 

Nevertheless, since the UK initiated its process
to leave the EU, there have been
uncertainties in the efficiency of policy in the UK’s environmental sector
(Cardiff University et al, 2017).  The
change may have legislative implications as EU policy for waste and resources
includes a wide range of “activities”, which may be affected by the
UK’s renegotiated relationship with the EU (Cardiff University et al, 2017).

Consequently, doubts are raised about the
consistency of future waste policy in the UK (Cardiff University et al, 2017),
as they were developed based from the standards of the EU Waste Framework
Directive (Cardiff University et al, 2017) (EC, 2016).

However, due to policy developments the
approach to waste management in the UK has changed; as well as the public’s
attitude towards waste management (DEFRA, 2013).

 

 

 

 

Impact of Policy on Health

 

Furthermore,
DEFRA reported that in the UK, wellbeing
plays a major role in policy design. Hence, aiding the government to choose
amongst “alternative” approaches (DEFRA, 2011).

This
supports the government’s phrase, “to govern is to choose” (HCPA, 2014), as policies are
developed using methods to draw in the
best evidence and analytical thinking from the government and the “academia”
(DEFRA, 2011).

Moreover,
the Civil Service reform (2012) introduced “open policy-making” in the UK in
support to their approach (HCPA, 2014). Open policy-making was established by
the government to encourage the public to engage in debate about policy, to
discover new ways of thinking and to propose solutions (HCPA, 2014). It is the
government’s approach to engage to the public and experts and gain information
beyond “Westminster village” (HCPA, 2014). However, definitive responsibility
and accountability for leadership remain with Ministers and senior civil
servants (HCPA, 2014).

 

This,
in turn, assists policy-makers to adhere policies to society’s health and well-being (DEFRA, 2011); which may positively
contribute to people’s overall welfare (DEFRA,
2011).

Lastly, analysts
are constantly developing new and better ways to understand how policy and
public services affect well-being (DEFRA,
2011).

National Policy

A national policy plan, developed by DEFRA, is the Waste Management Plan for England,
hereafter named as WMPE (DEFRA, 2013). WMPE is a document that was developed in accordance with the mandatory requirements of Article 28 of the revised Waste
Framework Directive (WFD) (GOV.UK, 2013). The Plan is designed to unify current waste
plans and policies already in place under one umbrella (DEFRA, 2013). It also seeks to introduce new policies to
improve how waste is managed in England (GOV.UK, 2013). In the Waste Policy
(2011), the policies that “fall under” the umbrella of the WMPE are the UK Plan for Shipments of Wastes, the Government’s Strategy for Improved
Hazardous Waste Treatment in England and so on. (DEFRA, 2013).

The WMPE’s chapter
on the ‘Current Waste Management Situation in England’ summarises how to apply
the Waste Management Hierarchy (DEFRA, 2013). The chapter also describes how waste management is regulated by
the Environment Agency (EA) to prevent harm to the environment and to human
health (DEFRA,2013). 

In addition,
the WMPE acknowledges the fact that the Directive’s targets cannot be delivered
by government alone (DEFRA, 2013). Full co-operation from businesses,
residents, consumers and the local authorities is required to achieve this. The
policies summarised in the WMPE provide a framework for action by such groups
(DEFRA, 2013).

Therefore,
the government aim to continue to help companies and people to minimise and
control their food waste by “sharing evidence and best practices” (DEFRA,
2013). They planned to implement local partnership approaches to food waste
prevention amongst local authorities, businesses and the society by providing
information and access to skills (DEFRA, 2013). 

Updates

DEFRA
released an updated report on waste management from 2010 to 2015, to comply
with EU laws such as the EC Waste Framework Directive and the EC Waste
Statistics Regulation (DEFRA, 2016). It reports optimistic statistics, such as
the recycling rate for “waste from households” has decreased to 44.3%
in 2015 from 44.9% in 2014 (DEFRA, 2016). From 2015 results of the UK’s
Biodegradable Municipal Waste (BMW), waste had reduced to 7.7 million-tonnes
(DEFRA, 2016). The UK’s commercial and industrial (C&I) waste, has reduced
from 32.8 million tonnes to 27.7 million-tonnes (DEFRA, 2016). Lastly, of the 209 million-tonnes
of all waste that entered final treatment in
the UK in 2014, 44.5% was recovered for recycling and energy (DEFRA, 2016).

 

Local Policy

At a
local authority level in England, waste planning authorities are responsible
for producing local waste management plans, comprising of land-use plans of
waste management for their areas (DEFRA, 2013). They are also expected to
regard the WMPE and the National Planning Policy for Waste to revise existing
local waste management plans (GOV.UK, 2014) (DEFRA, 2013). The Surrey
Council is one of the local authority in England
that fulfilled such responsibility (Surrey, 2018).

Surrey
Council formed a Joint Municipal Waste
Management Strategy (JMWMS) to manage waste across the county (JMWMS,
2015). The strategy establishes objectives for recycling, reducing and managing
waste in an ecological and cost-effective way (Surrey, 2018).

Furthermore,
the strategy is administered by the Surrey Waste Partnership (JMWMS, 2015). The Partnership consists of eleven districts councils, who
are responsible for collecting household waste (JMWMS, 2015),  and of the Surrey
County Council, who is responsible for disposing
of this waste (Surrey, 2018).

Surrey
Council ensures that the strategy is effective
in their area
by regularly reviewing the strategy and updating
it when necessary (Surrey, 2018). They amend the strategy following a
consultation with residents (Surrey, 2018), aiming to manage Surrey’s waste in
the most cost-effective way (Surrey, 2018).

Updates

Surrey developed a second revision of the JMWMS
in 2010, called the ‘Waste Partnership plan’ for managing Surrey’s waste up
until years 2024/25 (Surrey Waste Partnership, 2015). It has been updated to
ensure that Surrey’s waste is managed effectively, moving towards higher
performing waste services for the future (Surrey Waste Partnership, 2015). They
published their revised plan in compliance to their legal duty to have a joint
waste strategy and keep it under review under the Environmental Protection Act
1990 (Practical Law, 2018) (Surrey Waste Partnership, 2015). Surrey reinforced
their revised plan by consulting with the residents (Surrey Waste Partnership,
2015).

Surrey’s data shows that household waste
generated in Surrey has decreased by around 50,000 tonnes since 2007/8 (Surrey
Waste Partnership, 2015), despite population increase during the period (Surrey
Waste Partnership, 2015).

Surrey’s previous strategy aimed to continue
decreasing waste by reducing household waste by 30,000 tonnes between 2009/10
and 2013/14 (Surrey Waste Partnership, 2015). They almost achieved this target
with a 25,000-tonne decrease recorded in
2012/13 (Surrey Waste Partnership, 2015). However, there was an increase of
waste in 2013/14, which meant that their target was not met (Surrey Waste
Partnership, 2015). Extreme weather and possible “increases in
consumerism” are said to be a possible cause of this downfall (Surrey Waste Partnership, 2015).

Consequently, Surrey aimed to work with product
manufacturers, community groups, other local authorities and waste management
companies to improve how they will innovatively manage waste (Surrey Waste
Partnership, 2015).

Conclusion  

There
is a significant connection between human
health and the environment (WHO, 2016). Human health is affected if the
environment is harmed, as it is the surroundings and condition that we
constantly are operating in (Oxford Dictionaries, 2018).

 

Data shows the national policies continuing to
improve waste in England over the recent years (DEFRA, 2016). However, Surrey’s
policy shows a decline in improvement in the years 2013/14; indicating an
inconsistency to their local policy (Surrey Waste Partnership, 2015).

 

Nevertheless, both the government and Surrey
Council set ambitious objectives to achieve high-quality
services, in accordance with the European
Commissioners and the society’s expectations; complying
to national and international laws, such as the Environmental Protection Act
1990 (Practical Law, 2018) and
the Waste Framework Directive 1998, 2008 (EC, 2016). This is to protect our health and
the environment (Surrey
Waste Partnership, 2015), regardless of Brexit
issues (Cardiff University et, 2017).

 

The government develops
plans and policies, such as the Waste
Management Plan for England and the Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy,
by innovatively working with stakeholders, forming a partnership to improve
waste governance in the UK (DEFRA, 2013) (Surrey Waste Partnership, 2015). This
would aid the local authorities and the UK government to sustainably manage
waste materials to move up in the Waste Hierarchy and reflect on their outcomes
to the European Union (EC, 2016) (DEFRA, 2013) (Surrey Waste Partnership,
2015).