The waste sector is playing a vital role in boosting the UK economy, but more needs to be done to divert bigger loads of recyclables from landfill.  

This has been claimed Lord de Mauley, Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), who was full of praise for the efforts of companies and councils in a reception for the Plastics 2020 Challenge earlier this week.

According to the minister, the waste sector is growing by 3-4 per cent each year and the recycling industry generated £7 billion in sales between 2010-11. Prw.com says during this same period, the sector also employed well over 55,000 people and contributed £3 billion to the economy.

Lord de Mauley’s speech arrived two weeks after England’s ‘waste vision’ was announced. The government-backed initiative aims to encourage company’s into recycling more of their waste and putting whatever’s left into energy generation, reports letsrecycle.com.

The minister hopes this will help build a thriving and growing waste management industry. However, he claimed there are a number of steps that need to be taken beforehand.

This included encouraging more manufacturer’s and retailers to design their products to facilitate reuse and recycling. In an ideal world, the same groups would also favour recycled materials.

“We need local councils to work together to help the public,” he added; a goal which could be achieved by providing homeowners with recycling bins and promoting their use in marketing campaigns.

Lord de Mauley called his plan “extremely positive” and said there are significant rewards attached to its progress.

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