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Green Alliance calls for landfill bans

Prohibiting five types of material from landfill would help the UK economy to save up to £3.8bn, new research from an environmental think-tank has indicated.

The Green Alliance organisation argued the bans would prevent 19 million tonnes of wood, textiles, electronics, food and plastics waste from ending up in landfill every year.

It was also claimed the move would support 47,500 skilled UK job as a result of an expansion of industry to reuse, remanufacture and recycle the materials.

“The UK is currently burying billions of pounds of value in landfill and losing out on thousands of skilled jobs,” said Dustin Benton, head of resource stewardship at Green Alliance.

“A change in policy would improve resource productivity and boost private sector jobs growth at a time when the economy really needs it.”

The Green Alliance noted that landfill bans were also supported by the Conservative 2020 Group, which recently put forward a report on improving resource efficiency, and Labour had committed to introduce a ban on food waste.

It also pointed out that Wales was consulting on similar measures and Scotland had already announced a ban on biodegradable municipal going to landfill from 2021.

“[This left] England as an outlier and risks increasing transborder waste shipments if England continues to have a permissive landfilling policy,” said the organisation.

The Green Alliance indicated that to fully realise the potential of job creation and material value retention, the Government should also improve collection systems and put in place new infrastructure to allow reprocessing and remanufacturing “at the right scale”.

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