Like me, you probably have a drawer in your house filled with redundant tech: vintage phones, unidentifiable chargers, cables that sometimes work but sometimes don’t. Collectively known as WEEE (Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment), it may include that old laptop that you may just need. Or the old laptop that you’d love to give away, but are worried about the data it holds. You occasionally wonder if any of it is worth anything, but haven’t quite got around to finding out.
The government’s Resources and Waste strategy has been welcomed by the recycling sector. Ambitious and radical, there are some eye-catching policies: businesses and manufacturers will pay the full net cost of recycling or disposing of their packaging waste; shoppers will be charged an up-front deposit when buying drinks in single-use containers; it will be easier for people to know what they can recycle wherever they live in the country, with more consistent schemes from council to council and every home will have weekly food waste collections. There’s a lot to take in, and we await a lot more detail in the numerous consultation papers to follow but, as a package, the strategy offers significant challenges and opportunities for local authorities.
There has been a lot of expectation that the Government’s long-awaited Resources and Waste Strategy would provide the right mix of cohesive policy and fiscal drivers to rejuvenate the resources sector and support the wider economy in England.
This month, I had the pleasure of attending a conference to hear first-hand from those far-sighted businesses who have signed up to the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan. Those who helped kick everything off in 2012 deserve real credit for being the early adopters to a holistic approach which addresses the entire life-cycle of textiles and clothing. They signed up for real change and there’s been good progress so far. But the conference was far from a back-slapping exercise and there was universal acceptance there’s still much to do.
'It's the economy, stupid' was coined by Bill Clinton's election strategist, James Carville, in 1992 to emphasise the single most important issue to voters. The mantra became established thinking; the economy was thought to trump all other areas of policy. However, is that still the case? Do we care about money above everything else?
I was inspired and excited to see so much content, commitment and collaboration at the Summit we held to mark the first six months of The UK Plastics Pact on October 11th.
We heard about the fantastic progress towards meeting the ambitious Pact targets which has been already made members and supporters in just six short months. Progress which demonstrates a real commitment to act, and to act in a joined-up, cohesive way.
There was strong recognition that individual initiatives should not be piecemeal, but aligned as part of a collective plan for change right across the system. One which transforms the plastics system in the UK and keeps it in the economy and out of the environment.
It’s bin day. But there are no kerbside recycling collections today – or on any other day. And not just in our street or town. Across the country, there are no blue, green or brown bins. In the home or on-the go. Recycling, it seems, is dead.