Growing a circular economy: Ending the throwaway society - Environmental Audit Committee Contents

2  Policy areas for growing a circular economy

Taxes which support resource efficiency

23. One of the most effective policy measures in increasing circularity in the past decade has been the landfill tax, which Hampshire County Council told us "has helped to push material up the waste hierarchy by making other waste management systems more affordable".[49] Waste-to-landfill has halved since the tax was introduced in 1996.[50] Dan Rogerson told us that he wanted to reduce waste-to-landfill further, but that there were always some substances, such as asbestos, which would have to be disposed of in that way:

    We have reduced landfill a great deal but there is more to do on that. … I suppose from Defra's point of view in particular it would be making sure that we are pushing the materials up the hierarchy and the amount that goes to landfill is down to some very hazardous wastes and so on.[51]

Some witnesses felt that the landfill tax had resulted in a shift to the next cheapest alternative, which is often incineration or export. Eunomia Research and Consulting told us that incineration, or energy from waste, should also be taxed in order to achieve greater recovery of materials.[52] Novelis told us that they supported transforming the landfill tax into a "disposal tax that included incineration—effectively taxing the linear and incentivising the circular".[53] Dustin Benton from Green Alliance told us that incinerating waste materials benefited from guaranteed financial returns for the energy generated, whereas recycling materials to use them again depended on markets which were more volatile and so less attractive to investors.[54]

24. The Government's 2011 waste review stated that "market-based instruments such as taxes and trading systems are an efficient and cost effective way of pricing in the value of environmental resources. By giving certainty over the price of these resources, they create new opportunities for businesses in markets for environmental goods and services."[55] We noted in our recent report on Well-being, the work that the Natural Capital Committee is doing on the scope for Government policy-making to reflect the value of ecosystem services.[56] A circular economy would be greatly facilitated if businesses too could take account of such factors.[57] Sir Ian Cheshire suggested that taxes should be used to incentivise businesses to take a more circular approach, by "pricing the externality properly".[58] He suggested that differential VAT rates could change business behaviour:

    You could design it in a way that is fiscally neutral, just to keep the Treasury calm. I genuinely think that, with a bit of indication and information and a bit of financial incentive, you will start to get people looking for these types of products.[59]

25. The Green Alliance believed that the Government had provided "limited support for conditions enabling circularity".[60] SITA highlighted that "previous waste strategies have been overwhelmingly biased towards the management of municipal waste and towards end-of-pipe … Policies that 'push' materials out of landfill should be balanced by policies that 'pull' these diverted materials into the production economy".[61] Steve Lee of CIWM also highlighted the importance of "stimulation of the market end for circular economy materials".[62] Ramon Arratia of Interface carpets told us that more could be done to incentivise products with better environmental characteristics:

    We have products today with 5 kilograms of CO2, with 100% recycled nylon, and there are products in the market with 20 kilograms of CO2 with high-pile virgin nylon. Both pay the same VAT. Both pay the same tax. What are the signals that we are giving to the market?[63]

Similarly, Steve Lee told us that he wanted:

    … to see a transfer of the weight of taxation away from effort, from skills, from employment and towards virgin resource use. That could take many forms, including a variable VAT rate across Europe, such that it would encourage designers and manufacturers to look for sources of secondary materials for their products, services and processes. We believe that there is great scope here and it is something that only Government in the UK can carry forwards as an argument into Europe, because it would be a very difficult thing for an individual member state to do on its own, but it could have tremendous impact if it were picked up at a European level.[64]

The Local Government Association suggested lowering National Insurance Contributions for additional staff in repair organisations to support growth in the re-use sector.[65]

26. Dan Rogerson would not be drawn on whether his Department had discussed alternative fiscal measures, either internally or with the Treasury.[66] He told us that at present the Government's main focus was on maintaining the landfill tax:

    There is some flexibility under EU rules for looking at VAT but that is not something that we are proposing to do at the moment. I think it is important that we continue to make sure the landfill tax is doing the job it has done quite successfully to make sure that the cost of landfill remains higher than the far more constructive uses of those materials.[67]

27. Current taxation laws do not reward companies that take a circular economy approach, with its associated environmental benefits, and risk locking the economy on a linear path. As pressure on resources will continue to increase, taxation policy should incentivise products that are designed to have a lower environmental impact and support greater repair and re-use. The Government should introduce differential VAT rates based on life-cycle analysis of the environmental impact or recycled content of products, and tax allowances for businesses that repair goods or promote re-use. It should set up a cross-Government working group, led by the Cabinet Office to decide how best to implement such reforms.

Producer responsibility and 'take-back' schemes

28. The Green Alliance have identified that one of the most fundamental barriers to a circular economy is 'split incentives' where organisations that design products often do not have responsibility for their end-of-life recovery.[68] The Government considers that "producer responsibility is an extension of the 'polluter pays' principle and is about ensuring businesses take responsibility for the products they place on the market at the end of their lifecycle."[69] Dr Kate Goldsworthy from the University of the Arts told us that extended producer responsibility could have an impact on how products are designed:

    If the take-back systems are looked at alongside the design, you see some really interesting things happening. If a company knows that their product is coming back full circle to them, it is in their interest to design it in such a way that they can get the maximum value from it.[70]

29. The RSA highlighted that in Japan "manufacturers themselves own most of the materials recovery and recycling plants and operate their own compliance schemes, resulting in direct cost savings and incentives to design for disassembly, re-use and remanufacturing".[71] Dustin Benton of Green Alliance described this as "an example where the state has effectively created a whole system where the incentives are aligned".[72] The Environmental Services Association told us that "design of products for recyclability, which enables bulk collection and automated disassembly so far as possible, will help to maximise the longer run economic benefits of recovering secondary materials from the waste stream."[73]

30. There is a producer responsibility scheme for packaging through a system of Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs), which packaging reprocessors sell when they have recovered and recycled a tonne of packaging. There are also regulations under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive which obligate retailers of electronic or electrical goods to operate or join a take-back scheme. Axion Recycling believed, however, that these "acted as a barrier to progression towards a circular materials economy" because most compliance schemes do not have individual producer responsibility (IPR):

    In a system where all producers pick up an equal cost per tonne for dealing with the end-of-life waste treatment system based upon market share, there is no incentive for any single producer to invest in making changes to their own business model which will help to increase recyclability of products. Why would any single firm invest this effort, if all they do is pass those benefits onto other players in the market who will not make any changes to their own product design, material selection criteria or ease of disassembly? The lack of IPR options create a barrier to progress in this important aspect of eco-design.[74]

The Government's Waste Prevention Plan, however, states that it will "work with the industry to explore how Individual Producer Responsibility can be implemented" for the electrical and electronics sector.[75]

31. The Environmental Industries Commission told us that "producer responsibility has been fairly successful in increasing the collection and recycling of materials, but has been much less successful at altering the nature of products from the point of design so that they have less impact throughout their life and are easier to recycle."[76] Nick Brown of Coca-Cola suggested that PRNs should have "different contributions for packages that are harder to recycle or have a harder end of life".[77] The British Plastics Federation wanted a further reform of the PRN system to "incentivise the use of plastics packaging recyclate within the UK by enabling obligated organisations to offset the volumes of recyclate used against the charges applied for compliance".[78]

32. Sir Ian Cheshire told us that many environmental regulations have not been designed with the circular economy in mind. He explained that the additional bureaucracy of compliance adds costs which are currently prohibitive for many businesses:

    … In take-back chains there is a real problem. I can apparently sell a power tool all the way down the value chain to a customer but if I want to take it back and repair it I have to have a WEEE certificate and become a licensed waste carrier, and frankly the economics don't work.

The European Commissioner, Janez Potoènik told us "we absolutely need to address those issues".[79] There is clearly a need to balance strong regulation to prevent illegal disposal of waste, with measures that make it easier for businesses to take back and re-use products. WRAP told us:

    "We recognise the need for a balance between sensible waste controls (which rightly exist to prevent illegal activity) and the promotion of greater circularity. However, we think it is important that issues such as the definitions of waste, by-products and end-of-waste are regularly reviewed to ensure that this balance continues to be achieved."[80]

33. The current producer responsibility schemes fail to incentivise or reward companies that design products with their end-of-life in mind. In addition, aspects of the wider regulatory framework for waste can prevent businesses re-using materials or products. The Government should reform the PRN scheme to include an 'offset' or lower charge for products that have higher recycled content and ensure that funds generated from the operation of the scheme are distributed to bodies working to enhance materials recovery and product circularity. It should also introduce individual producer responsibility schemes in new sectors to make more producers design products with their end-of-life in mind. The Government should review how processes for environmental protections against illegal disposal of waste might be simplified to encourage businesses to re-use materials. More generally, it should explore the scope for regulating the minimum recycled content of particular products in order to stimulate sustainable markets in recovered and recycled material.

Recovering materials

A standardised approach to recycling services

34. We heard from several witnesses that the current area by area approach to recycling collections is reducing opportunities for businesses. EEF recommend that the Government introduce a "nationwide code for local authorities on waste collection to help manufacturers design for recyclability".[81] The Green Alliance and Circular Economy Task Force estimate that introducing more consistent recycling collections could be worth £1.7 billion a year to businesses.[82] Sir Ian Cheshire told us:

    We don't have any standardisation of the way that waste streams are done local authority by local authority. If you are going to get to scale in the UK, it should not be beyond the wit of man to standardise the way in which we organise and collate waste streams. At the moment it is absolutely subscale and suboptimal. I think it has been done in the cause of localism, which on one hand is a good thing. In this case I think it has inadvertently created a blockage to potentially a lot of valuable waste being accessed.[83]

Liz Goodwin from WRAP told us "if we were starting from scratch we would not be doing what we are doing currently".[84] She explained that messages about recycling were made more complicated by the fact that different waste collection schemes are in place in different parts of the country, and how that affects a WRAP-run on-pack labelling scheme:

    There are three symbols: one is it is 'widely recycled', one is it is 'not recycled', and one is 'check locally' because there is not a large enough proportion of the population covered by the recycling scheme. Once you get to 70% of people having access to it, it becomes 'widely recycled'. For example, on mixed plastics we still need about 70 local authorities to start collecting mixed plastics for that to get a 'widely recycled' label, and that will be a massive improvement.[85]

35. Dr Stewart Barr of Exeter University told us that "because of the varying nature of recycling services in the UK, there cannot be one consistent message about a product's recyclability".[86] Mike Barry of M&S told us "the number one thing that [the Government] can do to help us is to simplify the collection of waste in the consumer's home."[87] Nick Brown of Coca-Cola saw a need for "a vision of what a more common and standard collection system could look like… There is a lot of potential for overcoming that confusion by moving towards a more common scheme."[88] Professor Tim Jackson told us that recycling has to be simple, and that the two main things that can be done to promote recycling behaviours are "absolute consistency of messaging and clarity of infrastructure", and "to return those [recycling] behaviours as soon as possible to habitual behaviours, rather than demanding cognitive effort from people".[89]

36. The way waste is collected and sorted can have a significant impact on its future value. Professor Rob Holdway told us that "through better segregation, avoidance of sending stuff to landfill, we now have some very good recycling businesses that can stimulate designers to think about these issues for milk bottles, water bottles and so on."[90] In February 2013, the Government launched a Quality Action Plan which acknowledged that "although buyers and sellers are agreeing prices in the market for recyclates, there are strong indications that market signals regarding quality appear not to be working in the way they should. This is resulting in inefficiencies in both economic and environmental terms, and delivering material of sub-standard quality in some cases."[91] Many recyclers have criticised the Government, however, for not going far enough to require local authorities to separate out waste. Chase Plastics told us that the Government's approach is unlikely to do enough to reduce contamination and promote recycling in the UK:

    Our government chose to ignore Europe's advice on source separation and good collection practice. … Poor quality collection methods mean that the contamination levels in recyclables is too high for the economic sorting and processing of such materials here in the UK.

37. Food waste collections not only reduce the volume of waste sent to landfill, where it produces methane, but can be a feedstock for anaerobic digestion and other technologies. Novamont highlighted that just 400,000 tonnes of food waste was collected for organic recycling, out of the 7.2 million tonnes of food waste from households.[92] They suggested that regulatory measures are needed to divert organic waste from landfill, such as the regulations requiring households to separate out food waste in Ireland, or the landfill ban on food waste being introduced in Scotland.[93] The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association recommended that the Government should "give a greater steer towards councils and businesses to implement separate food waste collections".[94]

38. The Government has offered guidance to local authorities about the frequency of waste collections and made £250 million available to those that offer weekly waste collections:

    The Government is committed to working with councils to increase the frequency of collections and make it easier to recycle. .... It is considered that local authorities with weekly residual collections can still achieve high recycling rates. A number of local authorities with weekly collections of residual waste have achieved recycling rates of over 50%.[95]

The Government's initiative on weekly residual waste collections risks distracting from the message that households should separate out recyclable materials, and food waste. Whilst Dan Rogerson told us he saw a "huge amount of progress" in recycling, he acknowledged some scope for offering "a little bit more guidance, and we could do some work on best practice".[96]

39. A circular economy would be supported by a more consistent national approach to household recycling collections. This would maximise recycling of a wide range of materials, and ensure consistent messaging and on-pack advice labels on products. Local authorities need to tailor their services to local needs, but the Government should give clear guidance that directs local authorities in England towards a more standard approach. This should include separation systems that enable reliable delivery of compatible sorted waste products to all recyclers, separate food waste collections, and a ban on food waste to landfill.

Better data

40. A lack of detailed information about waste materials is a significant barrier to companies making informed decisions about where to prioritise investments and to be able to match end-of-life materials with markets. The Environmental Services Association stated "one area of ongoing concern is the chronic lack of data on material flows".[97] Eunomia identified that:

    One of the greatest sources of frustration regarding waste, other than those collected by local authorities, is that the quality of data remains truly abysmal. No one actually knows how much waste is being generated by commerce, industry, or the construction and demolition industries, or how it is being managed.[98]

EEF told us that "poor data is increasingly being cited by the waste industry as the key reason for under-investment in treatment facilities because it makes it unduly difficult for financiers to undertake due diligence".[99] Peter Jones, an independent adviser, stated that "gross ignorance and utter speculation [about future waste capacity] is entirely down to the lack of an integrated, real time data capture network".[100]

41. Accurate information about levels of waste materials is vital for modelling future demand. Axion Recycling told us that "if there is a lack of confidence in the demand for the output products of any materials recycling business, then there is a very high risk that the investment will fail."[101] One way of addressing this issue is to improve the reporting of this information through the 'Waste Duty of Care', or 'eDoc', system. Steve Lee of CIWM explained that:

    eDoc … is a very important project. It is three quarters of the way through its life. It has produced a web-based data, trafficking and monitoring system that is free to the user. It was launched at the end of January [2014]. It is supported by all four UK Governments. The big question now is who will be its foster parent and who will look after it in the next critical four or five years of its life.[102]

Dan Rogerson told us that so far 1,446 businesses had registered on eDoc and it currently contained over 12,000 waste transfer records. He was clear that it is "the job of us as Government to champion it", noting that the "leading waste companies are very keen to take this forward".[103] Dominic Hogg of Eunomia wanted this reporting to be mandatory in order to get the necessary quality of information for effective planning, and complained that:

    … we have gone backwards a little, because Defra has now decided to allow alternatives to Waste Transfer Notes to be used as evidence of proper handling of data, so they can record waste that has been moved on an invoice, rather than a waste transfer note, which dilutes and diffuses the nature of the information. We need a proper, electronic register where we track the movements of waste and what it is through the whole system. I cannot believe this is a question of if; it has to be a question of when.[104]

42. The 'Waste Duty of Care', or 'eDoc', is an important initiative to improve the quality of information about the resources contained in waste. It will help businesses and Government better identify opportunities for maximising the value of these materials and plan future investments. The Government should set out plans to ensure eDoc's long term future so that it can fulfil its role in improving data quality on waste materials. It should set a deadline by which time reporting in this way will be mandatory.


43. We heard from witnesses that a more circular economy will need investment in new infrastructure. The Green Investment Bank told us that it had invested over £200 million in the UK waste sector, mainly through PFI/PPP projects, but was now moving towards a strategy of investing in "pioneering projects", such as specialist fuel supply and anaerobic digestion.[105] They stated that the move away from traditional PFI/PPP projects was because "most local authorities have now procured their chosen waste management solutions".[106]

44. Dominic Hogg of Eunomia thought that the Green Investment Bank should move away from investments in incineration infrastructure, including energy from waste plants, because these potentially diverted materials away from recycling and therefore limited circular economy activity.[107] Steve Lee of CIWM disagreed, telling us that England is "short of the infrastructure that we need to deliver the future". He emphasised the importance of the Green Investment Bank's funding for anaerobic digestion because the "signals it sends to other potential investors that this is a technology, a process and a part of the market in which it has confidence, and is willing to invest, are incredibly powerful".[108] The Local Government Association suggested scaling up debt financing through the Green Investment Bank,[109] and the Environmental Services Association wanted the Green Investment Bank to develop new insurance products to underwrite some elements of 'feedstock risk' associated with securing sufficient materials.[110] Air Products told us that such 'feedstock risk' was an issue for energy from waste plants.[111]

45. The Green Investment Bank can play an important role in the transition towards a more circular economy, particularly where infrastructure development for innovative technologies is held back by a lack of finance. The Green Investment Bank should finance innovative technologies to support a circular economy. The Bank could for example showcase the potential of anaerobic digestion plants which are able to process a range of waste feedstock sources by investing in such projects. The Government needs to ensure that its policies for recovering resources and generating energy are aligned and are consistent with the waste hierarchy.

Setting standards to promote circular products

Design and warranties

46. The Government has a role to play in encouraging design that improves the whole-life efficiency of products. The Government Office for Science's Future Manufacturing Project Foresight Report highlighted the potential of eco-design standards "involving minimisation of critical raw materials and design for recovery as policies that facilitate a shift towards a circular economy".[112] The Government's Waste Prevention Programme for England states that the Government will seek to influence the EU to bring waste prevention requirements into product standards and labelling :

    We are implementing the EU Ecodesign Directives and the EU Ecolabel scheme in the UK. As part of this work, we will influence the EU to bring waste prevention requirements into product standards as they are updated. For example, in forthcoming revisions of the Eco-label criteria for PCs and laptops, there will be discussions around modifying repairability criteria.[113]

47. The RSA suggested that there needed to be more guidelines for circular approaches to be mainstreamed into design briefs:

    Currently, there is no requirement for designers to consider the end of life implications of the products they create. The current recasting of the EU Directive Ecodesign framework[114] are the first steps towards potentially providing some guidelines for some product groups, but do not go far enough into circular or system thinking. This means that business as usual invests a significant amount into creating consumables which are designed for ease of manufacturing, maximising profits for retailers and manufacturers at the point of sale but that in the majority end up on the waste pile within 6 months, representing a huge loss of value in terms of energy and materials.[115]

Similarly, the Local Government Association told us:

    The design of products is of central importance in determining whether a product can be reused. A lack of available parts or designs which make repairs difficult and expensive can mean some products that should be reusable are not. There is a role for government through promoting the adoption of British Standards for reuse and remanufacture and encouraging appropriate EU regulation that sets minimum standards for product design through future rounds of the EU Eco-design Directive.[116]

Dustin Benton of Green Alliance believed that further eco-design legislation has a role:

    I think there is a real opportunity for eco-design legislation to enable a more circular economy to happen. It has been strikingly effective on energy, which is what it was originally intended to do. I think it would cut the costs to UK consumers by about £50 per year if they swapped normal light bulbs for LEDs, for example, and that was driven entirely by legislation. It is micro policy and it is very detailed when you go into it. It has to be micro-detailed, but we know that there is interest already in looking at material efficiency within the eco-design Directive.[117]

Dan Rogerson told us that "energy has led the way on energy-efficient white goods but there are opportunities for us to do a lot more around water and so on".[118]

48. Sir Ian Cheshire believed that there is a case for forcing businesses to only use recyclable materials. He thought that "there probably are two or three critical plastics areas where there might be a case for some very targeted intervention to say, 'Either we are just not going to let you use this stuff … or we are going to make it so uneconomic that the market won't want to use it'."[119] Commissioner Potoènik told us that it was important to "start to shape the products that could be used and recycled, because the materials that are buried are lost".[120] Liz Goodwin of WRAP told us that voluntary agreements make regulations not always necessary, provided that there is a clear signal that "by year X, everything that is put on the market is recyclable".[121]

49. Interface told us that life-cycle analysis of products could underpin "environmental product declarations … enabling customers to compare products and choose the ones that have least impact".[122] Commissioner Potoènik told us that the European Commission was "trying to develop a kind of methodology on the basis of which we would be able to compare products, or at least product groups, and organisations".[123]

50. The RSA also highlight the importance of longer warranties for moving businesses towards service-based models, similar to those discussed in paragraph 14. These business models are based on products that are designed to last, and be repaired, with materials recovered and re-used at the end of their life:

    Implementing new business models that shift from linear 'make, sell' models to those with service and leasing systems will require the review and amendment of current legislation models including credit licensing agreements, guarantees and warranties.

51. The Government, working closely with the EU, should establish eco-design standards across a range of products. It should set out the steps towards a ban on products that are made from materials that cannot be recycled, or reduce taxes on those that can be (paragraph 27). Such standards would phase out inefficient products or hard to recycle materials by ensuring that companies design products that are consistent with the circular economy, have a clear end-of-life recovery route and are fabricated using easily separable and recyclable components. The Government should underpin voluntary agreements by setting timescales by which regulation would establish the recyclability of all products coming on the market. The Government should also work with industry sectors to set longer minimum warranty periods for consumer products to encourage businesses to adopt more resource-efficient business models.


52. The LGA's Routes to re-use report identified that 615,000 tonnes of material that currently goes to landfill or incineration could instead be repaired, resold or donated.[124] Green Alliance highlight that "finished products are worth much more than the raw materials inside them and direct re-use preserves the most value and embodied energy in products". For example, a reused smart phone retains around 48% of its original value, whereas its value as recyclate is just 0.24%.[125] WRAP estimates that as much as 23% of WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) disposed of at recycling centres has the potential to be repaired. [126] The re-use of WEEE has the potential to save the taxpayer of £1.9 million on goods with a resale value of £232 million.[127]

53. The Restart project highlighted barriers to increasing re-use:

    Firstly, consumers struggle to find clear and accessible information on repair services in their local areas. Secondly, there is a question around trust in these services: how to repair (or have an object repaired) in a reliable environment, and in an affordable way.[128]

The Government highlighted a postcode locator that WRAP is introducing to help people locate re-use or repair services. Dan Rogerson told us that "if we get the business to those repair businesses then that will hopefully safeguard them for the future".[129] He told us about the development of a re-use standard for discarded electrical equipment (PAS 141) that was developed by the British Standards Institution and supported by BIS.[130] Oakdene Hollins, which manages the Centre for Remanufacture and Reuse, highlighted that this standard gave assurance that "re-used electronic equipment had undergone a thorough hazard and function checking process before sale."[131] WRAP is also managing an £800,000 waste prevention fund to support innovative prevention, re-use or repair initiatives.[132]

54. There are cost and environmental benefits from re-manufacturing. Caterpillar noted that re-manufactured products needed a full as-new warranty and wanted this to be defined and formally recognised by policymakers to ensure a common understanding and acceptance of re-manufactured goods. They questioned the need for or value of an international standard for specific re-manufactured finished goods, but supported the development of a standard "to describe and define the remanufacturing process".[133] The RSA added that trade descriptions regulations should be changed to encourage re-manufacturing:

    In the UK, companies are prevented from selling products as new if they contain reconditioned parts, and this contributes to the wastage of significant quantities of usable materials. Provided the parts are certified to the same standard, either by [Original Equipment Manufacturer] or remanufacturing bodies, it should be possible for components such as metals to be remanufactured and used on a recurring basis in different products. Once again, this is already happening in other parts of the world (e.g. Japan) and we recommend the UK would do well to learn from these examples.[134]

Caterpillar wanted countries to treat re-manufactured goods in the same way as new goods in their trade regulations. Some countries, they noted, "restrict the free outflow of core items destined to be remanufactured and the inflow of remanufactured ones entering specific countries".[135]

55. Re-using products or re-manufacturing components is an efficient way of using existing materials. There are a variety of barriers that limit their potential, however, including perceptions of the quality of re-used products, and formal acceptance of re-manufacturing as of equal status as new products. The Government should take steps to remove trade barriers for remanufactured goods through trade negotiations, including pushing for them to be treated in the same way as new products.


56. Liz Goodwin of WRAP told us that as a significant procurer, the Government could stimulate growth in the circular economy through its own buying.[136] Defra's Waste Prevention Programme for England states that public sector spending is worth approximately 15% of UK GDP and central government alone procures the equivalent of 8% of UK GDP, and indicates that the Government "will include waste prevention and re-use requirements where Government Buying Standards for specific products are updated, building on existing references to re-use".[137] WRAP is supporting Defra in this process by providing evidence of good practice for specific product groups including catering services, hospitality and mobile phones.[138]

57. The Environmental Industries Commission wanted Government Buying Standards to be made more demanding in terms of the use of recycled content.[139] Green Alliance recommended that the Buying Standards require minimum standards for products to be disassembled or recycled, and specify that a minimum proportion of products should come from a reused or remanufactured source.[140]

58. The Government, through WRAP, has taken some steps to promote a more circular economy through Government procurement. However, it should extend buying standards to include a greater emphasis on the recyclability of materials and recycled or re-used content.

49   Hampshire County Council (GCE0020) para 4.10 Back

50   Government (GCE0045) para 53 Back

51   Q223 Back

52   Eunomia (GCE0038) para 24d Back

53   Novelis Europe (GCE0027) para 8 Back

54   Q24 Back

55   Defra Government Review of Waste Policy in England 2011 p13 Back

56   Environmental Audit Committee, Fifteenth Report of Session 2013-14, Well-being, HC59 Back

57   Steve Venton, Natural capital horizon scan (July 2014)  Back

58   Q28 Back

59   Q8 Back

60   Green Alliance (GCE006) para 19 Back

61   SITA (GCE008) para 15 Back

62   Q191 Back

63   Q115 Back

64   Q184 Back

65   Local Government Association (GCE0029) Back

66   Q288 Back

67   Q287 Back

68   Green Alliance (GCE006) para 16 Back

69   Government (GCE0045) para 36 Back

70   Q73 Back

71   RSA (GCE0048) para 2 Back

72   Q32 Back

73   Environmental Services Association (GCE0026) para 14 Back

74   Axion Recycling (GCE0041) para 4 Back

75   The Government Prevention is better than cure: the role of waste management in moving to a more resource efficient economy (December 2013), p17 Back

76   Environmental Industries Commission (GCE005) para 3 Back

77   Q150 Back

78   British Plastics Federation (GCE0021) para 3.6 Back

79   Q209 Back

80   WRAP (GCE0025) para 63 Back

81   EEF Materials for Manufacturing (July 2014), p20  Back

82   Green Alliance Wasted Opportunities: Smarter systems for resource recovery (July 2014), p6 Back

83   Q23 Back

84   Q44 Back

85   Q45 Back

86   Dr Stewart Barr (GCE0002) para 1 Back

87   Q90 Back

88   Q136 Back

89   Q134 Back

90   Q73 Back

91   Defra, Quality Action Plan (February 2013), p7 Back

92   Novamont (GCE0039) para 3.1.1. Back

93   Ibid, para 5.1.2. Back

94   Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (GCE0037) para 8 Back

95   DCLG Guidance on weekly rubbish collections Delivering a frequent, comprehensive service, paras 30 and 31 Back

96   Q275 Back

97   Environmental Services Association (GCE0026) para 22 Back

98   Eunomia (GCE0038) para 8 Back

99   EEF (GCE0032) para 19f Back

100   Peter Jones (GCE0012) para IV a) Back

101   Axion Recycling (GCE0041) para 7.1 Back

102   Q181 Back

103   Q250 Back

104   Q179 Back

105   Green Investment Bank (GCE0057) para 5 Back

106   Ibid, para 18 Back

107   Q173 Back

108   Q176 Back

109   Local Government Association (GCE0029) Back

110   Environmental Services Association (GCE0026) para 26e Back

111   Air Products (GCE0033)  Back

112   Government Office for Science Future Manufacturing Project Foresight Report (2013)  Back

113   The Government Prevention is better than cure: the role of waste management in moving to a more resource efficient economy (December 2013), p20 Back


115   RSA (GCE0048) para 10  Back

116   Local Government Association (GCE0029) Back

117   Q30 Back

118   Q267 Back

119   Q31 Back

120   Q209  Back

121   Q31 Back

122   Interface (GCE0052) para 16 Back

123   Q212 Back

124   Local Government Association Routes to re-use: maximising value from re-used materials (March 2014) Back

125   Green Alliance (GCE006) para 10 Back

126   WRAP Realising the re-use value of Household WEEE (2011) Back

127   Local Government Association Routes to re-use: maximising value from re-used materials (March 2014), p11 Back

128   The Restart Project (GCE0053) para 3.1 Back

129   Q269 Back

130   Q271 Back

131   Oakdene Hollins (GCE0031) para 3 Back

132   WRAP, Innovation in Waste Prevention Fund  Back

133   Caterpillar Remanufacturing (GCE0040) para 7  Back

134   RSA (GCE0048) para 3 Back

135   Caterpillar Remanufacturing (GCE0040) para 16 Back

136   Q15 Back

137   The Government Prevention is better than cure: the role of waste management in moving to a more resource efficient economy (December 2013), p17 Back

138   WRAP (GCE0025) para 35 Back

139   Environmental Industries Commission (GCE005) para 5.9 Back

140   Green Alliance (GCE006) para 30 Back

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Prepared 24 July 2014