Green Alliance report advises UK to halve resource consumption

The Green Alliance, a charity ‘focused on ambitious leadership for the environment’, released its latest report on 29 March, advising that the UK needs to reconsider its resources and waste strategy and focus on halving its resource consumption.

The research has been published as part of the think tank's work for the Circular Economy Task Force and advises that the UK’s current strategy will not be enough to create a resource efficient, circular economy.

The Circular Economy Task Force is a business group convened by Green Alliance. It is a forum for policy, innovation and business thinking on resource use in the UK and is currently chaired by Colin Church, chief executive of IOM3. The current members of the task force are Kingfisher, PwC, SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, Veolia, Viridor and Walgreens Boots Alliance.

According to the think tank, the UK Government’s focus needs to move away from policies that tackle individual waste streams, such as plastics bags and straws, and address the overconsumption of resources, which the Green Alliance considers the ‘root of the waste problem’. The report also states that climate change and nature loss cannot be addressed without reducing overconsumption and calls on the UK Government to use its position as a world leader in its approach to carbon emissions to become the first major economy to pledge similar targets to reduce its own resource consumption.

Currently, the main legally binding target for resource and waste in England is to meet a 65 per cent municipal waste recycling target by 2035. The Government also has a number of non-strategic commitments, including working towards eliminating food waste in landfill by 2030 and avoidable food waste by 2050, as well as doubling resource productivity by 2050. The Green Alliance says these targets are welcomed, but do not guarantee a reduction in resource use and has called for a target for resource use reduction to be added.

The press release, including a link to the Circular Economy Task Force Report, can be found here.

Published 30 April, 2021

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