Resource Recovery from Waste programme could deliver UK circular economy

3rd July 2018 | Recycling

A new, independent report on the University of Leeds’ Resource Recovery from Waste programme has proposed new ways to deliver a circular economy for the UK. The Resource Recovery from Waste programme is a collaborative research initiative uniting stakeholders from industry, government and academia to determine how to effectively target actions in order to deliver on the UK’s ambition to develop a circular economy.

The new report, prepared by leaders from the programme alongside the UK’s Environment Agency, warns that under its current approach, the UK economy is “overly reliant on unsustainable production and consumption practices that deplete finite resources at rates that will increase productions costs, business risk, and economic instability: it also produces emissions and waste that cause climate change and environmental degradation, impacting on well-being in the UK and beyond.”

The Resource Recover from Waste programme’s report proposes key indicators, regulatory instruments, a stable policy framework and an approach to ensure effective collaboration between stakeholders.

Recovery from Waste

The report suggests a focus on reuse and repair, in addition to recycling, which could be supported by taxation. It also recommends introducing high products standards, rather than banning certain products outright, and suggests broadening extended producer responsibility to apply to consumers and their roles and responsibilities when it comes to pollution.

The report also proposes 16 key indicators of progress in transitioning to a circular economy, and found that these were met with various levels of success throughout the UK. Of all the countries in the UK, Wales was found to have made the most progress, meeting 14 of the key indicators.

Welsh Minister for Environment Hannah Blythyn said that Wales’ progress in the transition to a circular economy has been supported by strong policies and ambitious targets. She explained, “This report is welcome recognition of the hard work being done in Wales across many sectors to become a more circular economy… My ambition is to move towards a circular economy in Wales … which means making more of what we consume here and recycling waste as much as possible.

More information available on the website below