'Produce circular economy guidelines', UK government told

The UK government should develop guidelines promoting the circular economy in the public sector, according to MPs.

The All-Party Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group makes 12 recommendations in a report examining how resource efficiency, waste reduction and “material circularity” can be achieved at all stages of the supply chain.

The report includes essays from government, industry and the public sector outlining best practice and the barriers to achieving resource efficiency across the supply chain.

The aim is to move towards a circular economy, in which the value of products and materials is maintained for as long as possible. MPs suggest focusing on the procurement of refurbished, remanufactured and recycled goods.

The group also calls on the government to conduct a call for evidence on the state of play of resource efficiency in UK companies, in order to determine the barriers they face that prevent them from being resource efficient.

Government should also work with industry across broad categories of products to develop voluntary agreements, ecolabels and campaigns to change behaviour to “encourage constant improvement and innovation in delivering resource efficient supply chains”.

“Incorporating circular economy discourse in supply chains thinking involves acknowledging that traditional consumers are actually not the end users of products, but that reprocessing and re-circulating materials and products are imperative for environmental, economic and social reasons,” said the report.

In a joint statement Barry Sheerman and Peter Aldous, MPs and co chairmen of the group, said: “The UK needs to move towards a system where the entire supply chain of products moves towards the circular model. The old model of make, use, dispose cannot continue, and this is true of all sectors in the UK, not just the environmental services and waste industries.”

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