16 December 2013

Ministers are urging businesses to design products that last longer, contain fewer hazardous parts and use resources better in a drive to save money, boost the economy and protect the environment.

The newly-launched Waste Prevention Programme for England sets out ways in which businesses can make savings by cutting waste and managing resources.

According to Resource Management Minister Dan Rogerson, businesses can make £18 billion in annual savings just by taking simple steps to produce less waste.

"Everyone has a role to play in reducing waste and I want to see businesses helping consumers and the environment by designing products to last longer and using resources better," he explained.

As part of the new Programme, a Sustainable Electrical Action Plan will be developed to encourage businesses to design products to last longer. This will help them to develop service models which keep products in circulation for longer, such as trade-in for resale, rental and leasing.

"Prevention is better than cure: The role of waste prevention in moving to a more resource efficient economy" is available at http://bit.ly/18CCEWg.

It explains that: "The Circular Economy means moving away from our current linear economy (make — use — dispose) towards one where our products, and the materials they contain, are valued differently; creating a more robust economy in the process."

The age of "throw it away and buy a new one" could be coming to an end as the Government intends to boost small firms by launching a web-based postcode locator to enable householders to find local reuse and repair services.

From Paul Clarke, business writer for Croner