A £1m fund to help businesses reduce waste at source has been introduced today by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) on behalf of Defra.
The Waste Prevention Loan Fund (WPLF) is intended to help businesses, social enterprises and local authorities introduce better models and processes to make more efficient use of material resources.
The fund was announced in the Government Review of Waste Policy in England 2011 and is aimed at solutions where commercial funding is not available. The maximum investment on offer is £100,000 and the minimum is £20,000.
Applicants must demonstrate they are working on new approaches that can offer “substantial” resource savings that can be “scaled-up and replicated to have significant benefit at the national level”.
WRAP said applications might include reusing products, repairing and upgrading services and materials recovery and reuse.
WRAP director of design and waste prevention Richard Swannell said: “We think the WPLF offers a unique opportunity for entrepreneurial thinking to make a real difference in the design and development of new products.”
Environment minister Lord Henley said: “Preventing waste being created in the first place is not only good for the environment but also good for a company’s bottom line.”
Funding will be allocated in phases. The first phase, open today, is aimed at businesses and will focus on resource-efficient business models (REBMs), particularly on electrical and electronic products, clothing and furniture.
Additional phases will be unveiled later in the year. These will be open to a wider range of applicants and will be aimed at wider waste prevention and reuse in selected categories including product recovery for reuse in a closed loop.
For more information visit the WRAP website here.
Prior to the waste policy publication waste management firms called for it to back industry and the FoE was concerned it could actually reverse recycling progress made. Once the details were unveiled local authority reaction was mixed.