Dulux paint manufacturer AzkoNobel has made a call for standardisation of waste management in the UK. This comes as part of their submission to the UK Manufacturing Commission’s Inquiry into Industrial Sustainability. This examines the opportunities and barriers related to achieving a fully sustainable industrial economy.

The call for action has emerged as part of a wider ranging petition, which urges UK policymakers to ‘create a new and bold national policy to increase the use of renewable or other low-carbon energy sources, in order to cut C02 emissions and turn recycling paint into a viable business activity’.

AkzoNobel want the UK government to incentivise UK manufacturers to invest in on-site renewable materials and improve energy efficiency, accompanied by a policy of ‘positive discrimination’ which favours green procurement by government departments.

The Dulux paint manufacturer have access to research which says that  approximately 55 million litres of paint and 90 million paint cans are sent to landfill or incinerated annually. Developing a ‘closed-loop’ recycling system that would allow unwanted paint to be reprocessed into new paint products is a realistic progression for the paint industry and waste management.

AkzoNobel believe that this system will only be possible if the UK adopts a ‘more joined-up approach to waste management’, consolidated at the national level, ‘as is the cast in most other European countries’.

AzkoNobel’s Global Sustainability Manager David Cornish said: “The waste management infrastructure in the UK is peculiarly fragmented, compared with many other European countries. In order to gain access to this waste paint, we might have to make agreements with 433 different authorities in the UK. That makes it impossible to offer consistent advice to consumers on recycling waste paint.

“The current totally devolved model means that progress in this area is much harder to achieve in the UK than in other countries. Standardisation would save costs, reducing the barriers for recycling some materials and would speed up progress towards a circular economy.”

There is mounting pressure on the new Conservative government to focus on growing the green economy. The heads of more than 80 major businesses have published an open letter in the Financial Times calling on David Cameron to seek a strong climate deal in Paris, set an ‘ambitious’ carbon budget for 2028-2032, and ‘establish a long-term framework for investment in the low-carbon economy’.

The Resource Association (RA), moreover, last month called on David Cameron to adapt his ideas for ‘blue-collar Conservatism’ into ‘green-collar Conservatism for the green economy’. The RA are among seven trade associations that wrote to Resource Minister Rory Stewart, offering ‘help [to] turn [England’s stalling waste management] situation around’.

Read the AkzoNobel Submission to the Manufacturing Commission.

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