Green Alliance’s response to Growing a circular economy: Ending the throwaway society

News release, Thursday 24 July 2014
Dustin Benton Dustin BentonActing deputy director020 7630 4522dbenton@green-alliance.org.uk
Commenting on the Environmental Audit Committee’s report on Growing a circular economy: Ending the throwaway society, Dustin Benton, Head of resource stewardship at Green Alliance said:
 
“The Environment Audit Committee’s report shows politicians from all parties recognise the need for, and value of, the circular economy. It rightly highlights that government has been slow to help businesses capture the opportunities this offers. Government needs to put circular economy opportunities at the heart of its industrial strategy.”
 
Commenting on the report’s recommendations for recycling, Dustin Benton said:
 
“The UK’s piecemeal approach to recycling frustrates manufacturers who want to use recycled materials. A more standardised system would allow reprocessing to happen at the right scale for materials which, as our recent research has shown, could support 47,500 more jobs in the UK.”
 
Commenting on the report’s recommendations for ecodesign, Dustin Benton said:
 
“Ecodesign can put money in consumers’ pockets. For instance: a reusable two year old iphone is worth about £290, but is worth just 72p if recycled. Requiring phones to be more durable and more repairable would mean consumers could keep their phones longer or capture the extra £289 in value from reselling a working phone.”
 
Commenting on the report’s recommendations for food waste, Dustin Benton said:
 
“Food waste dumped in UK landfill sites emits more greenhouse gas emissions than all the homes in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds put together. But we can change this quickly. We could generate £140 million worth of biogas each year just by banning food waste from landfill and sending it to anaerobic digestion instead.”
 
ENDS
 
Notes to editors
Green Alliance is a charity and independent think tank focused on ambitious leadership for the environment. Founded in 1979 “to inject an environmental perspective into the political life of Britain” we have been inspiring and influencing change for 35 years. www.green-alliance.org.uk
 
Wasted opportunities: smarter systems for resource recovery outlines the Circular Economy Task Force’s recommendations on how to reform the UK’s recycling system.
 
More jobs, less carbon: why we need landfill bans calculates the carbon benefits and number of jobs that would be created by getting waste out of landfill.