Environment resource risks for UK

Experts have warned of resource risks to the UK and highlighted the country’s risk of falling behind competitor countries if more is not done to secure the material resources needed for manufacturing through reuse and recycling.

In a new report: Resource Resilient UK, The Circular Economy Task Force, led by the Green Alliance thinktank, has called for:

  • A government-led study into the UK’s exposure to material insecurity
  • Clarification of competition law to reinforce exemptions businesses which co-operate on the drive to a circular economy
  • Long-term contracts and joint ventures to speed up recovery of materials and products
  • Influencing of product design through existing legislation to make products easier to reuse, remanufacture and recycle.

The report says the government’s industrial strategy should be a catalyst to quantify resource security risks, and co-operation across supply chains should be encouraged.

However, others such as the metals recycling industry, argue that rather than seeking to retain resources in the UK we should be encouraging free trade in materials in order to ensure resources can be used effectively where they are most needed.

The report about resource risks is one of a number of recent documents all highlighting the need to create a circular economy and the challenges to be overcome. Others include the Resource Revolution’s ‘Closing the loop: risk or reward’ and the Environmental Services Association’s Going for Growth report, all of which are worth a read.

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