Paper, card and WEEE among priority areas for Defra’s first waste prevention programme


The Government has said that it intends to launch a waste prevention programme by December 2013.

As a result, it has issued a call for evidence that sets out the evidence it has already, its priorities, barriers, opportunities and ongoing action, and invites views and information to help inform the programme.


The call for evidence identifies priority areas for waste prevention or reuse activity have been identified as paper and card, WEEE, food waste, textiles, construction and demolition, the chemical and healthcare sectors, and furniture and bulky items.

In the call for evidence, Defra states: “Evidence from 2009 shows that simple measures to produce less waste which pay back within a year, could save UK businesses around £17 billion and avoid greenhouse gas emissions of 16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually.

“This represents around 3 per cent of UK emissions and 4 per cent of gross UK business profits. These figures could be greater when longer-term investments are considered.

“Additionally, a move towards more service-based business models, and an emphasis on innovative design and production techniques are likely to result in further changes and opportunities.

“Waste production is gradually declining in England. In 2010, total waste generation was estimated at 177 million tonnes, continuing a decrease in waste arisings of 325.3 million tonnes in 2004. Commercial  and industrial waste accounts for 27 per cent, construction and demolition waste 44 per cent and household waste for 13 per cent of waste generated in England by weight.”

View the call for evidence here