THIS week, Beaconsfield MP Dominic Grieve writes exclusively for Bucks Free Press readers:

Sometimes the timing of Government announcements about revised policies can seem baffling, but the choice of December 18 for a comprehensive update of the Resources and Waste Strategy was spot on.

With so many cardboard boxes in transit across the whole country, carrying Christmas gifts, it was a timely reminder about the need to look at the way in which we tackle waste and manage our resources. While we have done a lot to reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfill – it was 36 per cent in 2010 and the figure is now 21 per cent – there is still more to do.

There is a triple mantra about waste: reduce, reuse and recycle.

The proposed Resources and Waste Strategy aims to cut our reliance on single use plastics; end confusion over household recycling; tackle the problem of packaging by making polluters pay; and tackle food waste.

The reforms shift the balance from the consumer to the producer, so that businesses and manufacturers will pay the full cost of recycling or disposing of their packaging waste. At the moment they only pay 10 per cent of the costs. Producers will have to take more responsibility for items that are harder and costlier to recycle, like batteries, electrical goods and cars.

A proposed deposit return scheme aims to increase the recycling of single-use drinks containers. There will be a consultation covering things like bottles, cans and disposable cups filled at the point of sale. There will also be annual reporting of food surplus and waste by food businesses.

At present the rules about what can or cannot be recycled for collection by councils can be confusing. The plan is to try and introduce a consistent approach across England. The issue of weekly food waste collections and the collection of garden waste will be examined.