AVA makes an impression at the HM Treasury… Again!

Members of the AVA Environment Committee joined in force to represent the vending industry to discuss paper cups and plastic in vending. The team were joined by Alex Hattersley, a Policy Adviser in the Energy & Transport division and Silas Gedner, an advisor for the Policy Group at DEFRA. David Llewellyn said “our aim was to put forward our case” and “increase our profile as an industry”.

The vending industry is already taking leaps forward when it comes to recycling with The Treasury expecting to see evidence of programmes that prove the current amount of recycling and re-use. The entire discussion between the AVA and HM Treasury was about updating both The Treasury and DEFRA on the range of cup collection & recycling activity that is already taking place. With Brodericks and Excel providing examples, Adrian Pratt believes that the HM Treasury and DEFRA “now recognise the complexity of the vending market and the difference of the industry compared to the high street”.

Brodericks launched their own scheme called Collect A Cup over 20 years ago where they started recycling plastic vending cups into stationery for local schools to re-use. Brodericks believe that “the time has now come to sign up to ‘War On Waste’ to reclaim the paper cup”. Excel Vending are also showing the way with their affiliation to Zero Waste, the Scottish Deposit Return Scheme and also working with Tidy Glasgow on cup collecting trials organised by Simply Cups.

But is that enough? Adrian also warns businesses within the industry that they “can’t hide from it” saying that as an industry “we must manage our recycling and reusables before they are managed for us.” Adrian states that “as an industry, we have environmental responsibilities that must be managed”. He further goes on to say that “there is a cost to this management but there will be an even bigger cost if we don’t actively manage it. We have the opportunity to manage this ourselves before it is managed for us”. Adrian urges the industry to join the ‘War On Waste’ even though he acknowledges that this does “bring pressure” and possible additional costs.

This was an opportunity to enlighten the HM Treasury and DEFRA on the opportunities the vending market has, as well as showcase the big steps already taken by some UK companies and businesses. Thanks to the AVA Environmental Committee, the AVA was able to do just that at the meeting last week.

Apparently, The Treasury were so impressed with the Committee’s work that they have asked them to return to The Treasury again. This time for the publication of the consultation documents linked to the DEFRA waste strategy published before Christmas. The AVA has specifically been asked to submit to these consultations.

According to David, “it was also interesting to learn about the planned timetable for a possible English Deposit Return Scheme and how, in comparison, the Scottish Parliament is so much further ahead.”

Before the meeting, it can be argued that the HM Treasury and DEFRA did not know much about the vending industry, nor did they understand the disproportionate impact tax or latte levy would have in vending. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the AVA team, the Board and more importantly, the Environmental Committee volunteers, both The Treasury and DEFRA left with the knowledge that “vending needs to be recognised”.

“It was a very positive meeting with contributions from all sides.” – David Llewellyn

See picture above of attendees (from left to right): Richard Bond [Lavazza Professional], Mike Saltmarsh [Inglehurst Foods & AVA Technical Consultant], Peter Goodwin [Simply Cup], John MacDonald [Excel Vending], David Llewellyn [The Automatic Vending Association], Ray MacNamara [Huhtamaki], John Broderick [Brodericks Group], Adrian Pratt [ Benders Cups], Fern Wilkinson [Nupik Flo] & Tracey Corroll [EDWCA]