Vicky is programme director Connected Local Government, a regular host on CLGdotTV programmes and has served public sector IT for more than 25 years@vickysargent
Waste/resources consultant Dr David Greenfield, council waste manager Natasha Epstein, and designer Sophie Thomas discuss the impact and implications of Defra’s new strategy, launched in December.
As awareness grows of the environmental, even existential, consequences of our take/make/use/throw approach to resources, minds are focusing on the benefits of a ‘circular economy’ in which materials and manufactured goods are routinely recycled and re-used, and not just once.
Our panel members welcome the Strategy, but don’t underestimate the massive challenges it represents, including the 65% recycling targets set for local authorities. While some councils have already made changes that will help them meet new demands, others are less well prepared.
One feature of the Strategy that comes in for much discussion is the focus on the design of products and packaging. Its been suggested that up to 80% of the environmental impact of a product or its packaging is determined at design stage. And yet as our panel point out, there is at present little dialogue between designers and the waste management industry.
Incentivising on the one hand manufacturers and retailers (producer pays), and on the other, consumers (deposit and return schemes), to change behaviours is discussed. So too, inevitably, is the question ‘exactly which recyclying bin does this wrapper go in?’
Waste professionals they may be but our panel ‘fess up to being as confused as the rest of us with some of the materials passing through their shopping baskets and fridges into the bins.
On 6th February 2019 we will be making five programmes about 'smart lives' in front of a studio audience. You could be in front of the camera or in our expert audience.
Check out the programme and book your (free) place in the audience on our eventbrite page.
Seats on panels are by invitation. Contact Ben Webber firstname.lastname@example.org with detail of what you'd like to contribute.