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UK recycling industry has potential to create 10,000 new jobs

June 11, 2013

UK recycling industry has potential to create 10,000 new jobs

Pursuing recycling and more efficient resource use could lead to a UK industry with net exports of more than £20bn and 10,000 new jobs in the recycling sector by 2020. Business outside the sector could also reduce their costs by £50bn a year on savings in raw materials and energy, says the report, Going for Growth, published by the Environmental Services Association (ESA) and the government-funded Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap).

If activities such as the research and development of new design techniques that would minimize the need for recycling, and better ways to reuse materials are included, the opportunity could be for 50,000 new jobs and a £3bn boost to the UK’s annual GDP.

The findings reflect the potential opened up by a “circular economy” ? one in which used material is not regarded as waste but as a resource, to be reused first, as that is the most efficient option then recycled as necessary. As raw material prices rise owing to increasing global competition for resources, the UK could reduce its reliance on key raw materials ? including rare earths, used in wind farms and electronics ? by as much as one-fifth by 2020.

Liz Goodwin, chief executive of Wrap, said a circular economy would keep resources in the use for as long as possible. “Reuse makes sure we get the maximum value from materials and brings significant business benefits. It is the complete opposite of make, use, throw away, make another ? the way of doing things now,” she said.

Read more at The Guardian.

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