Government rejects most of report on circular economy

Dismissal prompts criticisms that UK is dragging its heels.

The government has rejected most of a report recommending basic steps to develop a circular economy.

The report, Growing a circular economy: ending the throwaway society, was put out by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee in July.

Key recommendations including greater standardisation in collection systems, lower VAT rates for products with recycled content, a ban on food waste to landfill and making it a requirement for products to be recyclable at the end of life.

Environmental Audit Committee chair Joan Walley MP said: “The disposable society simply isn’t sustainable in the 21st century. Innovative companies in the UK, like B&Q and M&S, recognise this and are already demonstrating that using resources less wastefully is the future of business. Yet our government seems to have its head in the sand and is refusing to take basic steps to reduce the amount of food and resources we waste.

“Breaking the link between primary resource use and economic growth is essential if we want to create a truly sustainable economic system that can cope with rising global demand and population growth. It is possible, and many businesses are showing real leadership in becoming more resource efficient.

“But we need the government to create a framework where companies and consumers are rewarded for doing the right thing. The tax system should be used to incentivise products that are designed to have a lower environmental impact and support greater repair and reuse. Materials and products that cannot be recycled should be phased out altogether.”

One thing the government did accept was a recommendation to consider reforming the PRN system to include an ‘offset’ or lower charge for products that have higher recycled content. It will also consider introducing individual producer responsibility schemes in new sectors to make more producers design products with end-of-life in mind.

It said: “The government welcomes the Committee’s recommendation and will consider it as part of current work looking at the PRN system. The aim is to better understand where the barriers are to meeting the targets proposed in the recent European Commission package to review waste legislation."

Steve Clark

Non-Executive Director

Steve established Ecosurety in 2003 in response to the lack of flexibility, innovation and customer-focus in the compliance scheme market. He took inspiration from the mobile phone market, which continues to provide a diverse range of pick-and-mix options for the customer, and built the original business on a commitment to provide flexible, friendly and tailored support for all clients.

He is passionate about bringing the latest business concepts from other markets and industries and applying them to the environmental sector for the benefit of clients.

Written by Steve Clark Published 10/11/2014 Topics Sustainability

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