Collect and Recycle

European body sets out principles for business waste reduction

Companies using a UK IT recycling service like that of Collect and Recycle (http://www.collectandrecycle.com) may be interested to read of some of the latest recycling developments elsewhere in Europe, including the setting out of principles to reduce the waste that businesses generate, by Zero Waste Europe.

Zero Waste Europe is a body bringing together various European municipalities, and with the aim of phasing out business waste to the end of improved sustainability, economic resilience and social cohesion. It has signalled its interest in products being designed and managed so that the volume and toxicity of waste materials is reduced, with all resources being conserved and recovered rather than burned or buried.

Such principles are likely to win approval among many stakeholders in waste recycling. Certainly, that is the case for the Spanish, Italian and Romanian municipalities that have already signed up to them, with the hope being that they will be joined by others across the continent.

Also outlined by Zero Waste Europe in its document Introducing Zero Waste Europe: the main principles is its perceived requirement for a culture change, from linear production, consumption and disposal to a society seeking to waste nothing with the reduction of material and energy use.

The group also calls in the document for the introduction of waste prevention targets among EU Member States, as well as for various recyclable materials, food and garden waste and residual waste to be separately collected.

It also stressed the importance of products being designed with longevity and repairability in mind, as well as of products that cannot be recycled, reused or composted being redesigned. Also demanded by the group was a reduction in packaging and the reuse of parts and materials in line with a circular economy.

Users of Collect and Recycle’s fridge recycling, chemical disposal and similar services may also be interested in Zero Waste Europe’s belief in the introduction of price incentives to affect changes in behaviour, with penalties being imposed when waste is generated to excess.

The document stated in its conclusion: “Creating a low‐carbon, resource efficient, re‐ silient and socially inclusive economy which respects the diversity of ecosystems and in‐ creases social cohesion is one of the main challenges facing Europe today.”

Describing a zero waste strategy as “an essential pre-condition of this enterprise”, the body outlined a series of benefits to adopting such an approach. These included thousands more jobs, the help that it will provide in closing “the material loop”, the reduction of European dependency on imports and the reduction of the environmental impact associated with waste disposal.

The body added that such a strategy would also bring nutrients back to soils, drive product design innovation and “involve citizens in designing a better Europe”. As one of the leading waste disposal companies, Collect and Recycle (http://www.collectandrecycle.com) can only salute such bodies’ goal of making our world a greener, more socially responsible place.

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