A growing number of people whether it be households or businesses are making a concerted effort to reduce and recycle waste in the UK. This is great news, because every bit of effort, no matter how small is a positive step in the right direction…
In the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the recycling of household waste. As it stands, over 40% of household waste is recycled, whereas ten years ago, it was less than 10%!
Local authorities have implemented a variety of recycling schemes, putting pressure on the public to use the facilities on offer to recycle their glass, metal and paper waste. Other facilities have been put in place to deal with garden waste and compostable kitchen waste, with schemes differing from one area to the next.
Despite the fact that some schemes have been less favourably received than others, overall, the public response has been positive; largely due to a greater awareness of green issues and the need to take better care of our environment. This public acceptance has been vital, enabling local authorities to meet targets set by the EU.
With business waste accounting for somewhere in the region of 25% of the waste produced in the UK, businesses have been targeted by a variety of government initiatives and legislation, in order to reduce the amount of waste being produced and ensure that as much waste as possible is recycled rather than sent to landfill. Ever increasing landfill taxes have persuaded even the most reluctant business owners to get on board due to the financial benefits of doing so!
In addition to the increases to landfill tax, there are now clear guidelines relating to the disposal of certain types of waste. Tyres for example, cannot be sent to landfill under any circumstances. Strict regulations are in place to prevent toxic materials ending up in our landfill sites.
Businesses are now recycling more of their waste responsibly and those with green policies are able to benefit from the positive image that is associated with being environmentally responsible. Being green is great for PR!
REDUCING ENERGY USAGE
In the past, the majority of the machines and appliances we bought and used were not remotely efficient in terms of their energy consumption. Nowadays, energy efficiency plays a key role in the design of everything we use, from vehicles and boilers, to light bulbs!
Over time, these new products, many of which are far better for the environment will replace all of the older less efficient models. Energy consumption is a factor that is now prioritised by many people when making a purchase. Consumers are now aware that aside from the environmental impact, it makes no sense financially to use items that will guzzle energy and cost more in the long run.
Businesses are able to use the fact that a product is energy efficient, biodegradable or made from recycled materials to promote their brand in a positive light to consumers.
A GROWING TREND
Great progress has already been made and as more individuals and businesses get involved, the waste management industry will continue to develop and grow. New opportunities are being created in this fast growing industry as the demand for recycling schemes and recycling facilities increases each year.