Whilst the increase in domestic recycling rates is welcome, the emphasis on this ‘low hanging fruit’ has for too long diverted attention from greater opportunities in commerce and industry. “We fully support the conclusions of the report,” says the CRR’s Nick Morley, who recently gave evidence to the enquiry. “Numerous companies now demonstrate exactly the kind of holistic strategy for resource efficiency recommended by the Committee – and many are now reaping real environmental and economic benefits. For instance, Xerox has rejuvenated 2.8 million photocopiers saving £2 billion in waste charges since 1991, while Caterpillar is planning to more than double its current remanufacturing programme by 2010. The CRR works to highlight these examples of good practice while encouraging business leaders to adopt the same philosophy.” As well as calling for novel industry practices, notably the introduction of true individual producer responsibility (IPR) for the products a company makes, the Committee suggests useful alterations to current fiscal policy. David Parker, Head of Remanufacturing at the CRR says: “The recommendations for action are pragmatic, feasible and timely. We have long called for IPR and a targeted tax regime. World-class operators such as Xerox have proved that business models based on product reuse, whilst requiring new approaches to design, logistics and customer engagement, are profitable and beneficial. We hope the Government responds favourably to this report by promoting repair, reuse and remanufacture within both the public and private sectors.” For more information contact David Parker, Head of Remanufacturing at the CRR. There is a link to the Waste Reduction report on this page. Follow this link to listen to the BBC Radio 4 Today interview with Lord O’Neill.

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