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Government to offer voluntary recycling deals to businesses

September 10, 2010 at 3:55 pm

The government is planning to take a new direction when it comes to controlling the amount of waste produced by businesses. Rather than introducing further legislation and fines for businesses that don’t comply, it wants to introduce a voluntary deal instead.

The announcement was made by Lord Henley, the waste and recycling minister, whilst he was visiting the SITA UK plant. He said that voluntary responsibility deals are the government’s preferred option to reduce waste and improve recycling rates in the UK without having to introduce new laws.

The most well-known voluntary agreement up to now has been the Courtauld Commitment. This was introduced in the grocery sector in 2005 and proved to be very successful. Using this example the government now wants to show that the same principle can be applied to other sectors.

This is not a new idea as it was actually mentioned in the Conservative Party’s manifesto in the lead up to the general election, but now Lord Henley has made it clear that we could see progress in the near future.

Henley’s exact words were that the government wants businesses to “do the right thing” rather than having to be “tied down or penalised with excessive rules and regulations.”

Businesses in the UK create almost twice as much waste as households so it is even more important to get them to take greater responsibility for it. The government is likely to encourage competition between companies using incentives for reduced waste and increased recycling rates. The government is also hoping that businesses will come forward with their own proposals for change.

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