A new report, published by the All-Party Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group (APSRG) says that the UK is failing to capitalise on the “huge potential economic and environmental advantages presented by improved remanufacturing standards and practices.”
The report follows a three-month inquiry chaired by former environment secretary Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP and calls on the Government to remove regulatory barriers, agree on the definition of “remanufacturing” and develop new criteria to identify areas where the UK has the best potential to explore remanufacturing. It states that remanufacturing costs 85 percent less than manufacturing and that the “value of remanufacturing in the UK is £2.4bn, with the potential to increase to £5.6bn”.
The recommendations as set out in the report are:
- The Government should adopt a definition of remanufacturing to provide clarity to business on what it deems as remanufacturing versus other aspects of the circular economy, such as refurbishment and reuse.
- The Government should develop new criteria (detailed in the report) to identify areas where the UK has the best potential to explore remanufacturing. The Government should then develop a fund to optimise the development of remanufacturing in these areas.
- The Government should amend its Guidance on the Legal Definition of Waste to distinguish a product that is due to be remanufactured as being exempt from those products considered as waste. This will ensure that they do not fall within the remit of waste regulations.
- The Government should amend the Freedom of Information Act to include the requirement that a designer is compelled to state, upon request from a manufacturer or remanufacturer, the components of a product to enable easier remanufacturing.
- The Government should review the regulatory barriers to remanufacturing outlined above and address the legal black holes identified.
- The Government should consider the potential of a certified mark for remanufacturing to demonstrate that products have been tested and fully comply with those standards of a new product. The Government should also adopt whole life costing which would incentivise the purchase of remanufactured goods.
- The Government should set up a Centre of Excellence for those products that have the most potential for remanufacturing in the UK, for example engines. Centre of Excellences need to be linked with a leading UK University to enable key players to collaborate on a hub-and-spoke basis. This will encourage and stimulate greater knowledge transfer and understanding about the practical application and potential of remanufacturing in the UK.
- The Government should consider implementing a tax break for remanufacturers in order to encourage the uptake of remanufacturing in the UK.
“The renaissance of British manufacturing has created an outstanding opportunity for remanufacturing in the UK. But the full potential has not yet nearly been realized. The Government must act now to ensure the UK does not lag further behind in the rapidly growing global remanufacturing industry.
This report lays out clear guidelines for how government can put remanufacturing firmly on a growth trajectory: the lifting of regulatory barriers, the establishment of remanufacturing Centres of Excellence , the creation of a cross-departmental Committee on remanufacturing, a Government fund to support research and more. We urge the government to do more to exploit the huge economic and environmental potential that remanufacturing presents”.