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Retailers make new waste targets

UK retailers aim to divert waste from landfill so that less than 25 per cent is landfilled by 2013, according to a report.

Produced by the British Retail Consortium, A Better Retailing Climate Progress Report 2009
provides updates on climate change goals set by retailers last year on how they will reduce the environmental impact of their businesses by 2013.

The proportion of waste sent to landfill by retailers has been reduced by around a third between 2005 and 2008. According to the BRC, this has been achieved through a range of initiatives such as higher recycling rates and converting organic waste to biogas and fertiliser through anaerobic digestion. In 2008, retailers sent 32 per cent of their waste to landfill.

Business Minister Ian Lucas said: Its really good to see how much retailers have achieved in meeting a wide range of environmental targets. They can see that it makes good business sense because they benefit from efficiency savings as well as helping consumers to play their part.

I also welcome retailers taking the initiative of voluntarily pushing further and setting themselves even harder targets to help the UK meet its climate change goals.

The signatories to the Better Retailing Climate commitments represent 42 per cent of UK retail by value and include big names such as Argos, Asda, Boots, Dixons and Marks & Spencer.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: Even with the excellent progress already made in such a short period of time, retailers have decided to ratchet up their green commitments by setting themselves even tougher targets to reduce property energy emissions and landfill waste by 2013.

These ambitious green goals are in addition to retailers ongoing initiatives to encourage customers to adopt more environmentally friendly behaviour. This includes halving the number of single-use carrier bags taken by consumers between 2006 and 2009 and launching a standardised on-pack recycling label helping customers to recycle more of what can be recycled.

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