The Furniture Reuse Network (FRN) has called for reuse targets to be included in a Waste Prevention Programme for England.
FRN is a charity organisation representing reuse charities and social enterprises across the UK that helps households in need to access used furniture and other household items.
In its response to Defra’s second consultation on a Waste Prevention Plan for England, the network said reuse targets would force councils to increase their working in partnership with local reuse organisations.
FRN claims that as a result of welfare reforms, many of its members have experienced a 100% increase in demand for essential furniture items such as beds, cookers and other white goods, but have been unable to meet it. Therefore, they have started buying new goods to keep up with families’ needs, according to the charity.
“The demand for reusable goods is there; the mechanisms for supply are not,” it said.
FRN also urged Defra to assume a greater leadership role on waste prevention. “Defra is placing a high expectation on others to create a programme of waste prevention activity and absolves Government of any real intent or impact,” it said.
In a recent MRW interview with Colin Church, Defra’s director of resource, atmosphere and sustainability, he stated his enthusiasm for supporting reuse activity but said: “Reuse activity that doesn’t fit neatly into anyone’s budget and is very hard therefore to unlock”.
The revised Waste Framework Directive requires EU member states to establish their national waste prevention programmes by 12 December.