Ecodesign key to waste prevention, says Defra

13th December 2013

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Electronics ,
  • Manufacturing ,
  • Life Cycle Analysis ,
  • Ecodesign ,
  • Products


Nicholas Passingham

The government has pledged to improve the availability of finance to businesses wanting to become more resource efficient in its new plan to cut waste

Launching the government’s new Waste Prevention Programme for England, resource management minister Dan Rogerson called on companies to rethink how they design their goods and services.

“Products should be designed to use fewer resources from the start and with longer lifetimes, repair and reuse in mind,” said Rogerson.

“Preventing waste from being produced in the first place is not only good for the environment, but for the economy. I want businesses to manage all resources more efficiently by using less, while creating more.”

In the programme, the government commits to improving firms’ access to finance by educating banks on the business case behind improving resource efficiency, as well as continuing its £1.5 million waste prevention loan fund.

A further £800,000 of government funding will be spent on developing a two-year scheme aimed at helping local authorities work in partnership with businesses to tackle waste. Reuse schemes are an example of the types of collaboration that the government is seeking to encourage through the funding.

Meanwhile, Defra is to work with Wrap to create a new action plan for the electrical goods sector aimed at supporting firms in designing more durable products.

The government’s own procurement standards are to be altered to include waste prevention and reuse criteria, and the programme confirms that the environment department will help the wider public sector to reduce its waste, starting with the NHS.

The plan also commits the government to clarify is definition of waste by next summer, to better account for reuse and repair.

The Environmental Services Association, which represents the waste and recycling sector in the UK, gave the plan a cautious welcome, greeting the commitment to support the public sector in tackling waste favourably, but warning that more detail was needed.

“There are a number of interesting ideas in the programme which should help promote waste prevention as part of the circular economy,” said Roy Hathaway, ESA policy advisor. “However, the devil will be in the detail.”

The ESA questioned whether the proposals to improve access to finance would address the “real obstacles” to investment and how the government will engage with businesses and consumers with waste prevention.

“While there is much to applaud in the document, it remains to be seen whether Defra and Wrap have the political will and the resources to follow up all these ideas and help make them happen,” commented Hathaway.

In November, Rogerson confirmed that Defra was slashing Wrap’s funding from £26 million in 2013/14 to £15.5 million in 2014/15, and that from next spring the environment department would no longer be taking a proactive approach to policy in areas including commercial and industrial waste.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

SBTi clarifies that ‘no change has been made’ to its stance on offsetting

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Vanessa Champion reveals how biophilic design can help you meet your environmental, social and governance goals

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

A project promoter’s perspective on the environmental challenges facing new subsea power cables

3rd April 2024

Read more

Senior consultant, EcoAct

3rd April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close