A report by the manufacturers’ organisation EEF has called for the Government to develop a much more ambitious waste strategy as its members suffer from material scarcity.
In its review, Government Waste Strategy: six months on, it said that a new approach to legislation is needed. From the manufacturer’s point of view, legislation is unnecessarily complex, confusing and based on out of date assumptions that assumes waste will be sent to landfill, even though the EEF says only a quarter of manufacturing waste is dealt with in this way.
It also wants to see companies given access to local authority recycling facilities, regardless of where they are based.
The EEF also released results of a survey of senior manufacturers that showed 80 per cent now regard a shortage of materials as a risk to their business. Of these, two thirds said that it was the top risk. While one in six companies argued that a shortage of raw materials is a brake on growth.
As a result, the EEF wants the Government to work with industry to develop a strategy that will enable materials to be re-used and to speed up their movement across the economy. It would also like to see the amount of recyclate that is exported reduced. It says that of the 15 million tonnes of waste exports, more of this should be retained in the domestic market via a resource efficiency strategy from Government.
EEF head of climate and environment Gareth Stace said: “Waste policy has for sometime been the forgotten element of the green agenda. But, with global demand for resources expected to soar in the future and manufacturers already rating raw materials shortages as their biggest risk, we must not miss the opportunity to make the best of what we have.
“Government policy has gone some way towards recognising these risks, but to date it has not gone far enough. We now need a more ambitious approach which involves a resource strategy for the UK, simplified legislation and an improved infrastructure involving better access to local authority recycling.”