The Government ‘still lacks effective long-term plans to reduce waste,’ according to a watchdog’s new report.

More than four years after the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published its strategy for a circular economy, the National Audit Office (NAO) found effective delivery plans ‘do not yet exist’.

The NAO said uncertainty made it difficult for councils to prepare for Government plans to introduce consistent collections, extended producer responsibility and the deposit return scheme.

It raised concern over the lack of plastic recycling facilities, which could lead to packaging being incinerated, sent to landfill or exported to developing countries.

The report read: ‘Weaknesses in DEFRA’s set up of the collection and packaging reforms - along with factors outside of its control - have contributed to delays, and the risk of not delivering to the latest timetable is still high.’

Head of the NAO, Gareth Davies, said: ‘Reducing waste is critical to reducing emissions and achieving some of Government’s wider environmental goals, but DEFRA does not have effective long-term plans for how it will achieve its ambitions for reducing waste.’

This story was originally published by The MJ (£).

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