WRAP to refocus as it ups its impact

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is set to redirect its own resources to get the biggest bang for its bucks.

Its new business plan, which will carry the organisation through to 2008, WRAP will shift emphasis away from tightly-focused projects that have considerable impact on their chosen area but limited large-scale effect.

Instead it will concentrate on big wins that are likely to channel more waste away from landfill and result in the most efficient use of resources.

While the organisation has played down the negative effects of its change in direction, there will undoubtedly be some losers alongside the many winners.

Among the casualties of the plan, for example, is WRAP's promotion of 'real nappies' which, while serving a purpose, made little change to the quantity of waste going to landfill in real terms.

Beneficiaries of the business plan will include the construction industry, retail sector and those pushing for better management of organic waste.

"We want to focus in on those areas where there are big tonnage gains to be made, or where there are significant barriers that we believe can be overcome by concentrated effort," said WRAP Chief Executive Jennie Price.

"After almost five years of market development work, we are in a strong position to identify where we can make the most impact.

"One of our most important areas moving forward will be organic waste, helping to ensure that the UK is geared up to deal with the high volumes of green and food waste that must be diverted to reach the Landfill Directive targets."

WRAP's overall mission will be continue to be the acceleration of resource efficiency by creating stable and efficient markets for recycled materials and products and removing barriers to waste minimisation, re-use and recycling.

However, the new business plan will set 'top line' targets across a number of key sectors, fields and waste streams.

The new targets, which are currently being formulated and will shape WRAP's work for the next two years, are likely to include:
  • The construction sector - driving forward materials resource efficiency in the construction process and on-site practices;
  • the retail sector - waste reduction and recycled content in retail packaging;
  • manufacturing sector - large scale existing and new opportunities for virgin material substitution, for example in glass, paper and plastics production;
  • organic waste - extend the programme to cover higher volume as well as higher value applications and introduce a strong focus on food waste reduction and composting;
  • the land remediation sector - developing opportunities for the major uptake of compost and linking in to the broader regeneration agenda;
  • behavioural changes - continued focus on delivering the change is attitudes and perceptions needed to deliver an increase in recycling and develop clear messages for consumers on waste minimisation.

    These programmes will be underpinned by a major support programme for local authorities, including advice on collections and the home composting campaign, and business support to help the recycling industry to grow and improve its profitability.

    By Sam Bond

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