No time to waste: an effective resources and waste strategy


The economy-wide benefits of resource efficiency are well documented.

The UK government has committed to developing a Resources and Waste Strategy “to make the UK a world leader in terms of competitiveness, resource productivity and resource efficiency.” The Strategy is expected to be published in the autumn of 2018. This policy paper sets out the Aldersgate Group’s recommendations for what it should include.

The economy-wide benefits of resource efficiency are well documented. It can save businesses money, reduce reliance upon finite materials, provide insulation from materials’ price volatility, protect the natural environment from harm by the processes of material extraction and waste disposal and reduce the UK’s carbon emissions.

To secure these benefits the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS) must provide a coherent policy framework that moves beyond the take-make-dispose model of waste management and recognises the need for integrated regulations, standards and funding to support business engagement and innovation in developing new relationships, products and processes. As this policy paper sets out, resource efficiency can be driven by many areas that fall directly within the government’s responsibility, but consistency and interconnectedness in the policy framework will be fundamental in tackling this highly complex area.

[1] HM Government (October 2017) The Clean Growth Strategy. Leading the way to a low carbon future
[2] Aldersgate Group (January 2017) Amplifying Action on Resource Efficiency: UK edition