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Community fund for waste initiatives

A fund to reward the best community-led ideas to reduce waste has been launched as a survey indicates that nearly three-quarters of Britons are worried about the amount of waste the UK is producing.

Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, has established the Waste Reduction Challenge with the Cabinet Office and set aside a pot of £100,000.

The move coincides with the Zero Waste Week (3-9 September) which MRW is backing.

Nesta says the aim is to place solutions in the hands of local communities and the deadline for entries is 14 September.

Its Reducing Waste survey was carried out amongst 1,257 UK adults during August.

Fifty-five per cent said they were already taking steps to reduce their own waste and a further 18% were keen to join in with more know-how and support. 

Respondents called for new ways to increase recycling, cut down on packaging, grow more local food and encourage up-cycling. The research also shows:

  • The main barrier stopping people putting an idea into action was not knowing where to start (42%)
  • Young people (16-24 year olds) were least likely to know what to do about waste (33%), yet most likely to volunteer for community projects (31% volunteered last year and over 40% intended to in the future)

Vicki Purewal, Nesta’s head of the Centre for Challenge Prizes said: “It is really positive to see that over half of us are already taking steps to reduce waste and many more wanting to know how to. The UK is only at the tip of the landfill when it comes to waste and more needs to be done to tackle the issue at every level”.

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