Waste review: The use of standards as enforcement alternatives

It is interesting to hear that standards and accreditation could be given a “larger role” in waste enforcement to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses under proposals being explored as part of the government’s review of England’s waste policy. It has been a long time coming for the recognition of alternative means to achieve effective waste management and regulation.

There are great opportunities to harnessed from the use of existing accredited certification, such as ISO 14001:2004, and recently developed standards, such as PAS 402: Waste Resource Management – Specification for Performance Reporting & PAS 103: Collected waste plastics packaging for recycling, to demonstrate compliance by organisations as well as reducing the requirement for inspection oversight from the Environment Agencies.

I am sure that we will, all, look with interest to the work of the British Standards Institution (BSI), who have been tasked by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), in their development of a “strategic roadmap” on standards & from other organisations, such as the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) and Certification Bodies, to develop a strategy for businesses to gain more freedom from regulatory inspection.

There is a clear role for the Certification Bodies to play in influencing the policy direction and contributing their technical expertise to the more effective use of standards and accredited inspection or certification as an alternative to traditional enforcement.

I look forward to the active participation from UKAS and UKAS-accredited Certification Bodies as we should not lose sight of this golden opportunity to make a paradigm shift in the direction for waste management and regulation for this and future generations.

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