Look to the future now. It’s only just begun…
WRAP calls for policies to scale up UK’s circular economy and address inequality.
- UK circular economy dominated by men - only one in four jobs go to women.
- More women in lowest paid roles – predominately second-hand sales.
- WRAP calls for action to address inequality in the circular economy.
With 45% of global emissions linked to consumption, just concentrating on renewable energy will not halt climate change. We must change the way we make, use and throw away everyday things like food, clothes, household products and appliances. Addressing consumption-based emissions means making more ambitious commitments towards a circular economy and transforming our global food system. We must all adopt circular living.
WRAP is calling on the nation to help NHS Trusts by returning any unwanted or faulty walking aids for reuse or recycling. The drive is estimated to save an average Trust around £46,000 per year and help reduce waste and carbon linked to a key NHS service.
- Food waste costs a four-person household around £1,000 per year in food bought, but not eaten.
- 6.4 million tonnes (Mt) of food and drink thrown away in our homes in 2021 of which 4.7Mt could have been eaten: 12% of the 40Mt we buy every year.
- Potatoes, cooked leftovers (homemade/pre-prepared meals), and bread top the UK’s wasted food table. UK households throw away 300,000t of meat and fish a year, costing £3.2 billion.
- Industry and retailers cut their operational food waste, reduce carbon footprint of food, and improve water-use - but action by brands and retailers now critical to cut household food waste.
UK Plastics Pact latest report demonstrates how important public/private partnerships are in delivering fast impact ahead of Global Plastic Treaty negotiations.
- Public/private partnership models, like The UK Plastics Pact, must be in the DNA of the Global Plastics Treaty, alongside binding regulatory measures, if it is to achieve its enormous task, says WRAP.
- 99% of problematic single-use plastic items eliminated in UK - household plastic packaging slashed by same weight as 440 male blue whales.
- 71% of plastic packaging is now recyclable as UK routinely designs-out hard-to-recycle plastics like black ready meal trays.
- 55% of plastic packaging is recycled, with the amount of materials reprocessed in the UK increasing by 61% since 2018.
- Recycled content has tripled since 2018.
- Changes to plastic packaging, including the increase in recycled content, has cut carbon emissions by 10.5%.
- WRAP warns textiles industry as production levels wipe out crucial environmental improvements to fashion and textiles.
- Average person buys 28 new items of clothes every year: 8Kg/person, 586,000t in total.
- Almost 80% of the carbon footprint of a textiles product is determined at its design stage.
- WRAP’s Circular Design Toolkit will be a ‘go-to’ resource for the textiles industry, setting out a consistent framework of circular design strategies.
- WRAP calls on industry to share guide with product design and development teams to get more circular products on shop floors.
WRAP joins WWF and 70 international organisations and high profile individuals in calling for food systems transformation to be put higher on the agenda at the upcoming COP28 summit.
WRAP’s response to Simpler Recycling
Claire Shrewsbury, Director of Insights and Innovation at WRAP, “It’s good to see the publication of the Government’s response to its recycling consultation, and the inclusion of the six key materials and universal food waste collections in England. Making recycling simpler will make it easier to run nationwide communications campaigns to ramp up the recycling rate, and removes the postcode lottery of what’s in, what’s out. And encouraging that more than 2.2 million businesses will now be required to separate their waste for recycling.
“However, continuing to have comingled collections means that many material recycling facilities, which receive this mixed material, will need to look at investment and upgrading to ensure they can produce the quality recyclate required. But for local authorities, today gives clearer direction and more certainty they need to make important investment decisions around their own operations, with a timeline. WRAP will work with trade bodies and local authorities to make any transition as seamless as possible through our tools, technical support, and resources.”