Wednesday, March 28, 2007

UK - Going Beyond Recycling:

A Waste Prevention 'Network'?

Waste prevention is a higher priority than recycling in government and local waste strategies, and offers a more substantial contribution towards achieving sustainability. Yet until now it has received little attention.

A new consultation on a waste prevention 'network' has gone live at with a set of key questions to which all interested parties are invited to provide answers and suggestions.

Defra is supporting this consultation exercise as part of a scoping study which could lead to a multi-disciplinary UK Municipal and domestic waste prevention 'network'. Although there are already many more-or-less relevant initiatives it appears to be widely felt that something fresh and/or additional is required. Waste prevention is fast rising up diverse agendas and this is an opportunity to influence how this is reflected in policy and practice.

First proposed at the national Beyond Recycling conference in November 2006, and strongly supported at subsequent events, there are several reasons why a separate and distinct focus is required for waste prevention:

•The need for waste prevention to emerge from the shadows of recycling, and reach a level commensurate with its importance
•The expertise and skills required to plan, develop and monitor waste prevention are distinct from and more diverse than for recycling
•There is evidence that means to achieve behaviour change with regard to waste prevention are likewise different from those for promoting recycling behaviour

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