London, Birmingham — „UK recycling policy has stalled. Our outdated, expensive, stagnating system wastes £1.7 billion in resource value every year, and stymies companies who want to invest in and source recycled content from the UK“, judged Green Alliance. So the independent environmental think tank released a new report on „Wasted opportunities: smarter systems for resource recovery“. For this report, the Circular Economy Task Force researched how a better system, focused on realising value in materials, could work. They advocate two ways government could address the structural factors blocking a more circular economy for discarded materials from emerging in the UK, and how this could unlock opportunities for remanufacturing and reuse.
The report was released at an event in the Houses of Parliament the day before yesterday chaired by Laura Sandys MP. Resource Association Chief Executive Ray Georgeson attended the event and commented afterwards: “I congratulate Green Alliance and their Circular Economy Task Force on another timely intervention. The Resource Association echoes their concerns about the wasted opportunity to realise value from materials and the honesty with which they have addressed some of the dysfunctions in the way our recycling infrastructure has evolved during a period of unprecedented expansion in the 2000s. It is time for a shake up if we are to effectively capture this value and create a recycling collection and reprocessing infrastructure fit to play its future role in the circular economy.”
He added: “The report provides an excellent signpost for the potential for investment in new reprocessing, especially in plastics, WEEE and food waste processing through AD. While some circular economy commentators and experts expressed frustration that the report and the event focused too much on recycling and waste policy rather than their favoured topics of design, innovation and ’new business models‘ on this occasion I didn’t share their frustration. We need to look ahead and plan for the ambition inherent in the circular economy, but getting the basics right in the materials supply chain to encourage manufacturing investment and reducing material security concerns also needs to happen now. High quality recycling collection and reprocessing infrastructure is an essential ingredient of the future circular economy and must not be dismissed to the margins of the debate.”
And he finished: “I thank the Green Alliance for this sharp focus on the specific issues of recycling collection and infrastructure and hope that this report is on the top of the in-tray for incoming Defra Secretary of State Liz Truss.”
The „Wasted opportunities“ report can be downloaded from green-alliance.org.uk.
Sources: The Green Alliance Trust / Resource Association