Thursday, 25 October 2012

Evidence of emerging waste trends.

In my last blog, I spoke about how I perceive some changes taking place in the waste industry, as we struggle to move waste up the hierarchy and close loops within the existing regulatory framework.

I'm happy to be able to produce some timely evidence to support those views, gleaned from this weeks news headlines from around the waste sector.

John Lewis, a company that embraces CSR, is looking to close the loop on waste it produces, by maintaining tighter control downstream of production. They also want to keep as much of the secondary raw material produced in the UK as possible, which is a form of extended producer responsibility. This will of course need to be supported by producing quality materials and having the reprocessing capacity available to do this, but is certainly a step in the right direction.

As I pointed out, moving towards a circular economy, will create green jobs and low carbon growth, especially within the 3rd sector of charities and social enterprise. The value of this market is estimated to rise to around £600M by 2020 (taken from the recent Creating Social Value report). This has been driven in part by the provisions of the Public Services (social value)Act 2012, which I'm sure will be ceased upon by the 3rd sector to open up the public procurement system.

The Government in Ireland has recognised the importance of End of Waste criteria this week, warning its waste recycling industry that it is ill prepared to meet the criteria that are likely to be set to determine the point at which, waste can legally be defined as having been recycled. This is an important driver towards the segregated collection, handling and subsequent treatment of waste. It will be an important factor in infrastructure investment, which again, will create opportunities for new players into what is an established market.

It appears that the more forward thinking companies are taking this on board and we are starting to move down these paths. How the rest of the industry reacts and how this impacts upon our ability to meet targets remains to be seen. More as it happens!

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