Waste reduction and reuse could lead to £60 billion annual saving


A report commissioned by Defra has found that implementing reuse and waste prevention programmes could lead to £60 billion worth of annual financial savings.

The Waste Prevention Actions for Priority Wastes study also said that this could result in 100 million tonnes of CO2 savings and 58 million tonnes of material savings each year.


It was prepared by Environmental Resources Management as part of Defra’s evidence programme in preparing the Waste Prevention Plan for England.

The report presents an initial assessment of alternative actions aimed at increasing waste prevention, including reuse and preparation for reuse, of waste streams identified as a priority by Defra.

These are:

  • Food waste (including waste in the supply chain, in the hospitality sector and the household)
  • WEEE
  • Construction waste
  • Textile waste (both clothing and non-clothing textiles)
  • Paper and board (packaging, office paper and junk mail)
  • Furniture waste.

Of these, food waste, construction and textiles offered the greatest potential for savings accounting for 89 per cent by weight, 75 per cent by financial value and 95 per cent by CO2 impacts.

The analysis for the study was based on current evidence largely derived from WRAP studies, secondary literature sources and professional estimates.