Reduce Business Waste
Small Business News – 20 th August 2008
The Government needs to do more to reduce the amount of waste from business, according to a parliamentary committee.
The House of Lords Science & Technology Committee has just released a report targeting business waste generated in the UK.
The report, Waste Reduction (628k PDF), acknowledges previous and ongoing waste management efforts but finds that most of the government’s focus has been on pressuring households to reduce their waste where UK households only account for 9% of the country’s waste! The construction & demolition sector produces about a third of the UK’s waste as does the mining & quarrying industry.
The report now suggests that business waste needs to be reduced with big business leading by example and business waste best practice be developed so that small businesses, who often lack the time and resources to effectively manage their business waste, can benefit and contribute to waste reduction.
The House of Lords Committee also recommends that local government supports local small business and that waste targets & costs are restructured to allow local authorities to tackle industrial and business waste.
The report suggests a proportion of Landfill tax should also be used to fund business support bodies that help promote waste reduction like Envirowise and the Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP) whose budgets are being cut, a move with which the committee expressed its "extreme disappointment". Currently landfill tax increases at a rate of £8 per year (until 2011) as an "incentive" to curb the amount of waste generated. Whilst effective in reducing the amount of landfill waste other initiatives are needed.
One radical suggestion of the report is that businesses take responsibility for the waste associated with their own products.