Industries backed by government to tackle waste

Industries across the UK are set to be supported in tackling waste, boosting recycling and building back greener after the government announced funding for five research centres.

On 11 November, BEIS confirmed £22.5mn will support the development of five state-of-the-art facilities in London, Loughborough and Exeter which will explore how the reuse and recycling of waste materials in textiles, construction, chemicals, transport, electronics and metal industries can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, preserve natural resources and provide new opportunities for UK industries, while expanding the circular economy.

The government highlighted previous research by Green Alliance, which had shown expanding the circular economy could create up to 500,000 gross jobs by 2030.

The centres include one led by University College of London, which is set to develop more efficient use and recovery of mineral materials. This will reduce UK minerals extraction by more than half a million tonnes per day and prevent the generation of 154mn tonnes of mineral waste each year – enough to fill 30,000 Olympic sized swimming pools. Elsewhere, the University of Exeter is to explore how to create a circular economy for metals, such as cobalt and lithium, which are key in clean and digital technologies, including electric cars and wind turbines.