MPs back circular economy

7th August 2014


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
  • Recycling

Author

Sarah Chandler

Lower VAT on recycled products, longer warranty periods for consumer goods and a ban on food waste being sent to landfill are among the recommendations in a new report from MPs looking at how the government could help insulate the UK from rising resource prices and create a circular economy.

n half of all the stuff we throw away each year is recycled and turned back into something useful, despite prices for raw materials rising across the world," said Joan Walley, chair of the environmental audit committee, which produced the report. "Unless we rethink the way we run our economy and do business in a different way, environmental problems like climate change will get worse."

tee says the government should give new guidance to local authorities in England to standardise recycling collections to create new economic opportunities, as Wales and Scotland have done. It also advocates reform of taxation and producer responsibility regulations so that companies are rewarded for designing greener products. Differential VAT rates should be introduced, based on the environmental impact or recycled content of products, say the MPs.

tee says EU ecodesign standards should be introduced to make products easier to repair, upgrade or recycle. Such standards should phase out products made from materials that cannot be recycled and encourage companies to design goods that have a clear end-of-life recovery route and are fabricated using easily separable and recyclable components.

EMA published a guide on implementing sustainable resource management in an organisation to help create a more circular economy, while the European commission recently proposed new waste targets to encourage a move away from the current linear, "take-make-use-discard" model of production and consumption.

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