DECC scientific adviser calls for reuse and repair economy


The chief scientific adviser at the Department of Energy and Climate Change has said that we would use much less energy if we had a resource efficient economy.

In an interview with the DECC Review newsletter, David MacKay warned that the UK must move away from its “throw-away” culture.


In response to the question, “What do you think the major challenges will be?”, he said: “One difficult challenge is the way in which economic activity and growth currently is coupled to buying lots of stuff and then throwing it away.

“When a fridge, clothes-washer, or microwave develops a fault we throw it away instead of repairing it. Car manufacturers love us to buy a new car every few years.

“The whole system could use significantly less energy if we designed things to last, if we only bought things we need to use, if we used them for their full life, repairing them when necessary, and then disassembled them carefully so that components could be reused. How can we get there from here?”