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expert reaction to Defra’s resources and waste strategy document

Reactions to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (defra) strategy on waste and resource management. 

Prof Richard Thompson, Head of theInternational Marine Litter Research Unit at the University of Plymouth, said:

“The comprehensive approach outlined in this strategy features many of the key steps needed to make progress toward reducing waste and increasing the circularity of material use. Engaging with producers is crucial because unless products are designed with end of life in mind it is almost inevitable that resource will be wasted unnecessarily.

“The consumer also has an essential role to play. Of course there are some instances where we simply don’t need to use plastics in the first place but there are many applications where plastics are the best materials for the job, and we need clear and accurate guidance to inform decisions and change behaviour. In my view this is broader than just the consumer and we need to change behaviours right along the supply chain so that we design, use and dispose of plastics more sustainably. It is only by doing so that we can realise the advantages of plastics without the current environmental impacts.”

‘Our waste, our resources: a strategy for England’ was published by Defra at 00.01 UK time on Tuesday 18 December 2018.

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