UK lags on remanufacturing

10th December 2014

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  • Business & Industry ,
  • Manufacturing ,
  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
  • Recycling


Maarten Kuijper

Defra, Decc and the business department should actively promote remanufacturing in the UK to encourage take-up among industry, according to a new report.

Defra, Decc and the business department should actively promote remanufacturing in the UK to encourage take-up among industry, according to a new report.

The report, Triple win: the social, economic and environmental case for remanufacturing, follows an eight-month inquiry by the all-party parliamentary groups on sustainable resource and manufacturing. The investigation, headed by former Defra secretary Caroline Spelman, aimed to identify the UK's position in the global remanufacturing sphere and how its expansion can be supported.

According to the EEF, 55% of UK manufacturers are unaware of or have never considered remanufacturing, while the US and China are both investing heavily in remanufacturing, with governments in both countries supporting the sector's growth through incentive schemes. The report says UK government departments need to learn from practices in China and the US.

Remanufacturing can benefit manufacturers and consumers by reducing the cost of materials and can also cut carbon emissions, and water and energy use, the report argues. These drivers need to be highlighted and promoted to industry in order to change perceptions and encourage take-up.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Defra minister Dan Rogerson said: "Remanufacturing is quickly rising up the agenda. The move towards the circular economy is right and it is possible."

Meanwhile, Chris Holmes, managing director for waste and bioenergy at the Green Investment Bank, said that investors would be attracted to the sector by high quality products. "The market pull for recycled materials is not strong. One way to increase demand is to create price-competitive high quality products. There's only so much that can be achieved by innovative financing," said Holmes.


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