Watch this space for details of other legislation

Environment Bill


"We want to reduce the amount of litter that gets into our rivers and seas. That means we need to work together to stop people dropping litter.
Our strategy sets out, in detail, how we in government will work with communities and businesses to reduce litter. We will also create a new way of monitoring how much litter there is in England, to help us know whether the strategy is working."

Litter strategy for England: at a glance
Updated 23 July 2018

Environment Bill

The government’s much-delayed Environment Bill returned to parliament in May (26 May 2021) for the report stage and third reading in the House of Commons.

This means the bill is on track to become law in the autumn. The bill outlines how the government plans to reduce waste and make better use of resources, among other policies aimed at transforming the environment.

(ref: "Lets Recycle"  )


The Bill will establish the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) and will pave the way for a new Extended Producer Responsibility regime, a binding national target on waste, new charges on single use plastic items , and many other measures.


The primary legislation needs to be fleshed out by detailed regulations, so these new measures will not come into effect this year. The Environment Bill will also give the Government a new power to ban plastic waste exports to non-OECD countries.

(ref: Croner-I) 

The Waste and Resource Efficiency Part of the Environment Bill (Part 3) includes provisions to:
  • require producers to pay the full net cost of managing their products at end of life to incentivise more sustainable use of resources;

  • allow deposit return schemes to be established, whereby a deposit is included in the price of an in-scope item (such as a drink in a bottle or can) which is redeemed when the item is returned to a designated point;

  • enable producer responsibility obligations to be applied at all levels of the waste hierarchy to, for example, facilitate the prevention of food waste and increase the redistribution of food surplus;

  • enable charges to be applied to specified single-use plastic items;

  • require local authorities in England to collect the same range of materials for recycling from households;

  • ensure households have a weekly separate food waste collection;

  • ensure businesses and public bodies in England present recyclable materials for separate collection and arrange for its separate collection;

  • enable the government to set resource efficient product standards and information and labelling requirements, to drive a shift in the market towards durable, repairable and recyclable products; These Explanatory Notes relate to the Environment Bill as brought from the House of Commons on 26 May 2021 (HL Bill 16) 11 11


  • improve the proportionality and fairness of litter enforcement, by issuing statutory guidance on the use of enforcement powers and extending an existing power to set out conditions to be met by all those carrying out enforcement activity;*

  • improve the management of waste, by enabling the Secretary of State to make regulations in relation to waste tracking digitally;

  • improve the regulators’ effectiveness in tackling waste crime, reducing the cost of that criminal activity on the wider economy, environment and society;

  • allow the Environment Agency to be more flexible and responsive in managing exempt waste sites and ensure proportionate controls are in place to avoid environmental harm or illegal activity as waste market practices change;

  • fill a gap in existing powers to ensure that waste can be collected and disposed of when normal processes fail;

  • enable the Secretary of State to make regulations to amend the permitted range of penalties for existing Fixed Penalty Notices; and

  • enable the Secretary of State to regulate the import, export or transit of waste for export, and hazardous waste.

* It will provide powers to issue legal guidance to litter authorities and extending government’s existing powers to impose conditions to be met by those authorised to carry out enforcement activity.

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