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More jobs, less carbon: why we need landfill bans

Our latest infographic below shows the benefits to the UK economy of keeping resources out of landfill.

More jobs less carbon spread

[click on the image to expand]

The UK puts at least £3.8 billion of resources in landfill each year. Keeping these resources out of landfill would support skilled jobs and cut the UK’s carbon emissions.

Remaking old products requires skilled labour for disassembly, fault finding and repair. High quality recycling is a sophisticated industrial process, requiring engineering and technical skills.

Selling the products created through reuse, remanufacturing and recycling generates profit, justifying the labour required to process them. In contrast, landfill just has a labour cost. Landfill is easy, but it makes no sense economically.

Three actions would secure more skilled jobs and value:

  • Landfill bans – to prevent products and materials from being wasted
  • Better collection systems – to keep the quality of materials up
  • New infrastructure – to reprocess and remanufacture

Landfill bans help stimulate better collection systems and economies of scale, underpinning infrastructure investment. Scotland, Austria, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and several US states have already introduced them.

It is time the UK did too.

See the infographic online for references and details of the data sources.

Written by

Policy director at Green Alliance. Tweets at @dustin_benton.

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