David Cameron has announced that he will seek voluntary agreements with businesses to move towards a zero waste Britain.
His announcement coincides with a new Conservative Party report entitled The Conservative Party Working Group on responsible business. It argues that business has a social role to reducing and recycling waste.
Cameron has asked ex-Asda chairman Archie Norman, previously the Conservatives shadow environment secretary, to bring together companies to tackle the 330 million tonnes of rubbish produced annually in the UK. The study has described Government efforts to reduce this waste as bureaucratic and sluggish.
The report also argues that the Government must work with business to end Britains throwaway culture rather than to implement change with new laws.
Cameron said: This report shows how responsible business is not only in the public interest but the commercial interest too. It also describes a distinctively Conservative approach to responsible business one which is part of our overall vision of social responsibility, moving to a post-bureaucratic age in which the state does less, but does it better. We have seen over the past decade how ill-thought-out regulation adds unnecessary costs and burdens to business.
European Union producer responsibility directives have been ineffective because they cover only a small range of products, like batteries, vehicles and electronic equipment, said the report.
Instead of relying on penalties and further regulation we need to use this opportunity to rethink our waste strategy and find alternative solutions.
Image: David Cameron in the middle.