Responding to the Defra report published last week, which looked at the worth of waste and resource efficiency to the UK economy, the Resource Association says that it believes Defra has understated its potential for further growth.
The report identifies the waste and resource management industry as an engine of green growth in the UK economy.
It estimated that the core resource sector generated £6.8bn in gross value added, supported 103,000 jobs in 2013 and could generate an extra £3.58bn for UK businesses by 2020.
The figure is part of new research from the Defra’s Resource Management – a catalyst for growth and productivity report, which shows businesses need to look at waste as a valuable resource and use re-use, repair and remanufacture schemes to boost their income.
The report also shows the global market for waste management is set to grow significantly from $548bn in 2013 to $1,047bn in 2020. (See CIWM Journal Online story)
Ray Georgeson, Resource Association – “…UK export of recyclables is undoubtedly a British success story (even allowing for issues around illegal shipments of waste) but also means that in some instances potential to add value to product is being lost to overseas manufacturers”
The Resource Association, the trade association for the reprocessing and recycling industries and their supply chain, welcomed the publication by Defra of new analysis, but said although the report highlights the contribution of domestic reprocessing, it understates the potential for further growth.
Ray Georgeson, chief executive said, Resource Association: “…UK export of recyclables is undoubtedly a British success story (even allowing for issues around illegal shipments of waste) but also means that in some instances potential to add value to product is being lost to overseas manufacturers.
“Reprocessor added value to raw material input (in the manufacture and onward sale of new recycled products) can be at least fivefold the input cost of recovered material. If even a quarter of the £4.35bn worth of materials exported in 2013 were to be re-shored in UK manufacturing this could add at least £5bn to UK GDP and significantly improve the already positive figures for GVA/tonne.
“We call on Defra to consider further research in this area as part of the forward programme following this important report.”
The Association also says the potential to generate green growth through UK manufacturing using recovered resources needs refreshed impetus and intervention to stimulate home markets for recyclates.
“Defra has a credible and well established delivery mechanism in the shape of WRAP,” Georgson said, “and we believe the time is right for Defra to refocus the resource it makes available to WRAP back onto the unfinished task of recycling market development that WRAP was originally founded to facilitate.”
Georgeson said that as a starting point fresh research should be undertaken to establish a new baseline for where the potential for manufacturing growth may lie, the barriers to success and a new route map for the R&D, standards work, product testing, feedstock quality sourcing and other work that will be needed to deliver more manufacturing capacity.”
Read what CIWM’s chief executive Steve Lee had to say of the report in an exclusive opinion. HERE