Keep Britain Tidy launches first waste and managing resources report

Keep Britain Tidy has launched No Time to Waste, the charity’s first discussion paper focusing on ending waste and managing resources within environmental limits.

Keep Britain Tidy is best known for its work on litter.

However, since its merger with Waste Watch, it has been increasingly working on waste and natural resource challenges. The UN recently estimated global consumption of natural resources will almost treble by 2050 unless nations take ambitious steps to reduce consumption. Keep Britain Tidy believe this is possible and No Time to Waste begins to outline the charity’s thinking on what needs to be addressed and how.

No Time to Waste provides a clear narrative of the resource and waste challenges facing the UK and globally and offer six solutions.

Keep Britain Tidy is keen to stress the urgency of the problem and the need for government, businesses and the public, to work together to prevent waste and be more resourceful.

The Keep Britain Tidy discussion paper highlights a series of waste and resources challenges that need to be addressed: –

• Wastefulness remains the order of the day
Almost 15 million tonnes of food is thrown away in the UK every year.

Value within reuse is lost every day
Electrical items taken by the public to recycling sites would alternatively have a reuse value of approximately £220million.

• Recycling is flatlining
England is at risk of missing its legally-binding household recycling target of 50% for 2020, as the annual rate of increase in recycling has been slowing to 0.2% during the past three years.

• We are not measuring the right things
For example in England we still measure only recycling collected and not what is actually recycled or its environmental benefit.

• Wealth does not equal happiness
In the UK, the percentage of people reporting themselves “very happy” declined from 52% in 1957 to 36% in 2009, even though real incomes have more than doubled.

• Demand for resources continues to rise
The UN estimated global consumption of natural resources will almost treble by 2050 unless nations take ambitious steps to cut back consumption.

“Clear evidence shows we are living beyond our means as a planet, using resources we will never be able to replace,” says Phil Barton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy.

“We, governments, businesses and people, urgently need to change our ways to stop being wasteful and shift to become resourceful. No Time to Waste offers our first contribution as a charity to this debate and we welcome views and suggestions as our strategy to end waste develops.”

Download No Time to Waste here.

Charity Number: 1118616 | Company Number: 4323551