Waste Framework Directive

DEFINITION: EU legislation which sets the overarching legislative framework for EU waste policy. The Directive sets binding targets to be achieved by 2020: preparing for the re-use and recycling of 50% of certain waste materials from households and similar sources; and preparing for reuse, recycling and other recovery of 70% of construction and demolition waste.

See also: Circular economy

Related items

Plastic straws will be phased-out by October, Ikea said in a statement

Ikea to ban plastic straws in all its UK stores and restaurants by October 2018

Global furniture retailer Ikea has announced (July 16) that it will stop selling packs of single-use plastic straws in its UK and Ireland stores later this year, as part of its commitment to eliminate all single-use plastics from its global product range by 2020.

The move from Morrisons comes less than a month after the supermarket announced that it would stop offering single-use plastic bags in its fruit and vegetable aisles

Morrisons trials in-store deposit return system for plastic bottles

Supermarket giant Morrisons has launched a trial of an in-store deposit return scheme for plastic bottles, in a bid to minimise its plastic output and encourage customers to recycle.

There were 40 energy-from-waste facilities in the UK in 2017, up from 26 in 2014

Waste incineration set to overtake recycling in England, Greens warn

England is on the brink of burning more of its rubbish in incinerators than it recycles for the first time, according to a new analysis.

The three-month trials saw the percentage of customers bringing in their own cup to stores increase from 2.2% before the trial to 5.8%

Starbucks to introduce 5p paper cup charge across all UK stores

Starbucks will add a 5p surcharge to paper cups in its 950 stores across the UK later this month, as well as vowing to eliminate single-use plastic straws from its global operations by 2020.

An app enables businesses and individuals to list their surplus food online, enabling those in need to locate it

Cranswick launches redistribution programme to combat food poverty in Hull

Major premium food supplier Cranswick has launched a new collaborative initiative which will see it use a food sharing app to "go beyond redistribution" in its bid to combat food waste and hunger issues in Hull.

The new paper bags will cost the same amount as a bag for life

Iceland tests customer appetite for tackling plastic waste with paper bag trials

Frozen food giant Iceland has this week launched a paper bag trial, in a bid to reduce its plastics output and find out whether customers are willing to ditch plastic carrier bags at the checkout.

The training will be offered to 15 of ASOS' core designers this month, with a wider rollout in the pipeline

ASOS launches circular fashion training programme

Online fashion retailer ASOS has this week launched a new sustainable fashion training programme for designers, in a bid to minimise the environmental impact of its operations and stock more closed-loop clothing and accessories.

The 15-page report explores 10 of the most important areas of focus for sustainability professionals when it comes to combating plastic waste

Plastic waste: edie report explores 10 gamechangers tackling the issue

With Britain's plastics revolution continuing to gather pace, edie has today (27 June) published a new insight report which investigates some of the game-changing developments and sustainable solutions to the global plastics problem.

The pub chain has previously donated more than 1.7 tonnes of edible food waste to FareShare

Wetherspoon and FareShare partner up to tackle food waste

Pub chain J D Wetherspoon has teamed up with food redistribution platform FareShare in a bid to divert more of its food waste from landfill.

The initiative will see new bins and other waste management infrastructure trialed in Leeds

Food and drink giants collaborate to improve 'on-the-go' recycling in Leeds

A string of 18 corporations from the food and drink and packaging sectors, including Asda, Co-op and Marks and Spencer (M&S), have teamed up to launch a scheme aimed at boosting recycling rates for "on-the-go "packaging.

Sorting machines previously could not detect black plastics because of the carbon pigment, which meant they were generally get sent to landfill

M&S, Sainsbury’s and Tesco team up on closed-loop solution for black plastics

Supermarket giants Tesco, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer (M&S) have collaborated to introduce a solution for hard-to-recycle black plastic that places recycled content into food-grade packaging.

Morrisons claims its alternative paper produce bags will be 100% recyclable and biodegradable

Morrisons rolls out paper bags in produce aisles to cut plastic waste

Supermarket chain Morrisons has announced that it will stop offering single-use plastic bags in its fruit and vegetable aisles, in a bid to cut its plastic output by 150 million bags each year.

The circular economy route map sketched more than 100 practical actions - but how many have been taken so far?

How close is London to achieving a circular economy?

EXCLUSIVE: A year after the launch of a route map outlining how the collective actions of the private sector could catalyse a transition to the circular economy in London, edie investigates how much progress has been made to close the loop.

The UK fashion industry contributed £28.1bn to national GDP in 2015, up from £21bn in 2009

MPs to examine environmental footprint of UK fashion industry

MPs are to investigate the environmental impact of throwaway "fast fashion" in the UK amid growing concerns that the multi-billion pound industry is wasting valuable resources and contributing to climate change.

Defra’s deputy director of waste and recycling, Chris Preston, confirmed the tax restructure

Tax breaks on recycled content set for inclusion in UK's Resources and Waste Strategy

Increased rates of tax on virgin materials, coupled with tax breaks for manufacturers using recycled content in their products, are set to be included in the Government's new Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS), a Defra official has revealed.

Volvo hopes the move will encourage other car manufacturers to incorporate recycled materials in their components

Volvo to use 25% recycled plastic in new vehicles

After recently pledging to ban single-use plastics across its premises and events by the end of next year, Swedish carmaker Volvo has announced a new target of using at least 25% recycled plastic in all new vehicles it produces by 2025.

Green Alliance produced the report for a group of businesses that have formed a circular economy taskforce

Recycled plastic could supply three-quarters of UK demand, report finds

Plastic recycled in the UK could supply nearly three-quarters of domestic demand for products and packaging if the government took action to build the industry, a new report said on Thursday.

From left to right: Waitrose's Tor Harris, Iceland's Ian Schofield, Cranswick's Jim Brisby and CWG's Steve Greig

Breaking the plastics habit: The changing role of business in achieving a circular economy

Between increasing consumer pressures and sluggish policy changes, corporates are being stretched to their limits to tackle the plastics problem - but it is critical that this sudden step-change in awareness of the issue does not lead to unintended consequences, as edie's Matt Mace investigates.

Landsec avoided £2.5m in landfill tax by sending no waste to landfill last year

Landsec achieves zero-waste-to-landfill goal

Property developer Landsec has achieved its zero-waste-to-landfill ambition and is within touching distance of its 2020 target of recycling three-quarters of its waste, having sent 74.9% to be recycled in 2017.

The majority of onsite waste is dealt with through a contract with waste management firm Biffa

Hanson UK hits waste and water reduction goals three years early

Building materials supplier Hanson UK has surpassed its 2020 waste goal of reducing the amount of non-process waste sent to landfill by 85% compared to 2010, while also reducing water usage by a third.

FareShare will be undertaking a UK volunteer recruitment drive, aiming to increase the number of volunteers to more than 1,000

£5m Lottery grant to help FareShare divert 25,000 tonnes of food from landfill annually

Food redistribution charity FareShare claims that the £5m of National Lottery funding it has been awarded this week will enable it to almost double the amount of food it redistributes and diverts from landfill.

An estimated eight million tonnes of plastic waste enter the oceans each year

World Oceans Day: How businesses are tackling the plastics problem

Today (June 8) marks World Oceans Day, and businesses around the globe have announced new initiatives aimed at curbing the amount of plastics seeping into the oceans. Here, edie rounds up some of the best new business-led programmes.

In 2015, the fund generated just £45,000 to be used for technical research projects

£8m compliance fees to boost electronics recycling

More than £8m generated through compliance fees from the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) will be used to fund projects that increase the reuse and recycling of electronic items, the Joint Trade Association (JTA) has confirmed.

Black plastics in Quorn’s Deli range, which accounts for 10% of all chilled products, will be phased out by the end of 2018

Quorn moves to eliminate black plastics from packaging supply chain

Vegetarian food brand Quorn Foods is switching almost 300 tonnes of hard-to-recycle black plastic packaging to clear, recyclable alternatives, at a cost to the company, to reduce the amount of plastic waste it produces.

Network Rail has written to 150 retail brands that are based in its 20 managed stations to outline collaborative plans to phase-out the single-use plastic items

Network Rail targets plastics, cups and coffee grounds in latest waste drive

Network Rail has unveiled sweeping plans to reduce waste across the country's busiest rail stations, by implementing a ban on plastic cutlery and expanding recycling schemes for disposable cups and waste coffee grounds.

This round-up looks at seven nations that are implementing bold regulatory changes to reduce the amount of plastic seeping into the environment

World Environment Day: Seven countries leading the charge on plastics pollution

Today (5 June) marks World Environment Day, the UN’s global vehicle to inspire action on a plethora of pressing environmental issues, notably plastics pollution. Here, edie scans the globe to see how nations are putting an end to certain types of plastic.

There are currently just five facilities in the UK that can properly recycle disposable coffee cups

Latte levy could cost UK £819m, paper cup industry claims

Introducing a 25p levy on drinks served in disposable cups could end up costing the UK economy £819m and removing 11,000 jobs from the coffee retail sector, new research from the UK’s eight largest paper cup manufacturers and suppliers has claimed.

The move serves as a boost to AT&T’s existing waste strategy, which includes a pledge to refurbish or recycle 200 million electric devices by the end of 2020

AT&T sets zero-waste goal for 100 sites

The world's largest telecoms company AT&T has pledged to achieve zero-waste-to-landfill status across 100 of its facilities by 2020, including at its global headquarters in Dallas, Texas.

The latest move from Scottish Parliament follows on from the plastic straw ban it implemented in its own cafes, bar and canteens in February

Scottish Parliament bans single-use coffee cups

Disposable coffee cups are set to be banned from the Scottish Parliament's main buildings next week in a bid to reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste from its operations.

Members of the European Parliament and the EU Council will now be able to amend and tinker with the text in a process that is almost certain to last until after the United Kingdom leaves the bloc

European Commission plots ban on single-use plastics

The European Commission presented its long-awaited marine-litter-busting proposal on single-use plastics on Monday (28 May). The first legislative proposal from the Plastics Strategy aims to help the EU clean up the continent's beaches and waterways.

The chain’s 2030 strategy also includes pledges to halve waste and water consumption levels

Hilton to halve environmental impact, starting with plastic straw ban

Global hospitality firm Hilton has unveiled a number of new sustainability ambitions that has seen it become the first in its sector to set an approved science-based target, alongside goals to halve water use and waste and remove plastic straws from its estate by the end of the year.

Tesco is

Tesco calls for recycling reform as it strives for 100% closed-loop packaging

Supermarket giant Tesco has strengthened its ambitions to make all its packaging across its UK operations closed-loop and is now calling on the Government to support the chain's aim by reforming the nation's recycling infrastructure.

The trial will help Iceland's sustainability team better understand consumer perceptions and appetite for reverse-vending systems

Iceland becomes first supermarket to trial in-store deposit-return system

Frozen food retailer Iceland has become the UK's first supermarket to trial an in-store deposit-return scheme in support of the Government's recently announced intention to launch a nationwide rollout of the scheme.

Princes is sourcing its post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic from a UK supplier

Princes commits to make bottles with 50% recycled plastic

Consumer goods giant Princes has pledged to increase the proportion of post-consumer recycled (PCR) content in its plastic soft drink and oil bottles to more than 50% within four months, as part of an ongoing goal of using 100% PCR plastic in all its packaging.

The ONS’ definition of the EGSS covers a range of green industries, including renewables generation, waste management and recycling, wastewater, and environmental consultancy

Environmental goods sector outstrips rest of UK economy

The UK's environmental goods and services sector (EGSS) grew almost four times faster than the wider economy between 2010-2015, the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures have revealed.

Co-op hopes the trial will help deliver a wider goal to ensure that all own-brand packaging is easy to recycle by 2025

Co-op to trial reverse vending for plastic bottles at UK festivals

Co-op will become the first retailer in the UK to use reverse vending machines as part of a deposit return scheme from plastic containers, with trials set to take place at pop-up stores across UK festivals this summer.

The UK will play a leading role in designing and running the project, with an international steering board in place to oversee the work

UK spearheads new £50m plastics innovation hub

Unilever and Waitrose have backed a new UK-led research and innovation hub that aims to tackle plastic waste through innovative solutions.

Separate collection for municipal biowaste will become mandatory across the European Union as of 2023 under the EU’s revised waste framework directive

Worries mount over waste incineration as 'renewable energy'

A coalition of green NGOs and industries in the business of recycling, chemicals, forestry and the bio-based economy wrote to policymakers on Thursday (3 May), urging them to prevent incineration of unrecyclable waste from being counted as renewable energy.

In a bid to cut the number of plastic bottles used by spectators, 87 water re-fill points and 21 water fountains will be available for use at the event

Wimbledon announces ban on plastic straws for 2018 championship

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) has announced it will use recyclable paper straws for the 2018 Wimbledon tournament, in a bid to prevent more than 400,000 plastic straws going to landfill.

All waste managed by Veolia for Wetherspoon’s will remain in the UK, further reducing the carbon impact of its estate

Wetherspoon and Veolia partner up to tackle food waste

Pub chain J D Wetherspoon has teamed up with waste management firm Veolia to convert more than 11,000 tonnes of food waste into green energy.

The aim is for the most effective elements of the trials to be rolled out to corporate restaurants across the UK and Ireland

Compass turns to behaviour change to reduce food waste

Contract caterer Compass UK & Ireland has teamed up with food management firm Winnow and social charity Hubbub for a new behaviour change campaign to find out what makes diners at corporate restaurants waste less food.

Waitrose has pledged £500,000 to help clean up beaches and rivers across England for the next 12 months

Waitrose donates £1m to tackle marine plastic pollution

Waitrose has announced the donation of £1m to support the fight against plastic pollution, using money raised from its plastic carrier bag levy funds.

Tottenham’s 62,000-seater stadium, set to open later this year, will be free from plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery

Premier League partners with Sky to eliminate single-use plastics by 2020

Sky has teamed with the Premier League to eliminate single-use plastics from the organisation by 2020, while encouraging football clubs and fans to stop using certain plastics.

Proceeds of the 5p charge are donated to environmental charity Hubbub

Reusable cup use climbs 156% at Starbucks during 5p charge trials

The number of consumers using a reusable cup in Starbucks stores located across London has shot up by 156% in just six weeks, following the introduction of a 5p paper cup charge.

Analysis of the DRS in Norway by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) found that businesses will not suffer losses from such a system

UK retailers 'will not suffer financial losses' from bottle deposit scheme

Retailers will not suffer financial losses from the introduction of a plastic bottle deposit return scheme (DRS) in the UK, according to an analysis of a similar system in Norway.

Approximately 340,000 takeaway hot drinks are sold by BTP annually, generating more than £1m in sales value

Boston Tea Party becomes first coffee chain to ban all disposable cups

UK-based Boston Tea Party (BTP) will become the first coffee chain to implement an outright ban on disposable, paper-based coffee cups, with consumers having to purchase or loan reusable cups from 1 June 2018.

A landside view of Heathrow. More than 13.5 million coffee cups are used across all of the Airport's terminals every year

Heathrow Airport champions coffee cup recycling in 2018 sustainability update

EXCLUSIVE: Heathrow will recycle all disposable coffee cups that are sold and discarded onsite by the end of the year, the Airport's chief executive John Holland-Kaye announced during an edie webinar (23 April).

The Prime Minister called on other Commonwealth nations to join the fight against plastic pollution, by signing up to a newly-formed Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance

Theresa May outlines plan to ban plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that a consultation will take place later this year to prepare England for a national ban on plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds.

Costa already offers in-store recycling at more than 2,000 of its stores across the UK

Costa aims to lead industry transformation with pledge to recycle half a billion coffee cups

EXCLUSIVE: Costa Coffee's energy & environment manager Oliver Rosevear has said the retailer wants to drive cross-industry collaboration on coffee cup recycling, as it today (18 April) makes a bold commitment to recycle the equivalent of its entire annual sales of takeaway cups – at a financial cost to the business.

National Geographic Partners has vowed to use its photography and journalism to shine a spotlight on ocean plastic waste

Sky and National Geographic join forces in fight against marine plastic pollution

Global broadcasters Sky and National Geographic have teamed up to drive a global media campaign to reduce plastic litter in the ocean.

Waitrose claims the the move will save more than 52 million cups a year

Waitrose to remove disposable coffee cups from stores by autumn

Waitrose has ramped up its efforts to tackle plastic waste with a pledge to remove all disposable coffee cups from its shops before the end of 2018.

Globally around 8m tonnes of plastics enters the marine environment every year

Drop in plastic bags littering British seas linked to introduction of 5p charge

A big drop in plastic bags found in the seas around Britain has been credited to the introduction of charges for plastic bags across Europe.

Around 600,000 straws will be converted to home compostable material as a result

Waitrose builds on plastics pledge by switching to paper straws in cafes

Waitrose has revealed it will build on a commitment to stop selling packs of single-use plastics straws later this year, by replacing all plastic straws used in its onsite cafes with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper alternatives.

The bottles will be 100% recyclable and sourced in the UK

Co-op unveils 50% recycled plastic bottles for own-brand water

The Cop-op has announced that all of its own-brand water bottles will be switched to contain 50% recycled plastic, as part of a plan to "test the water" on how shoppers will react to a change in design.

Annually, more than 60,000 tonnes of used glass bottles and jars – which could otherwise end up in landfill or littered, will be reused and transformed

In Practice: The 'world-first' closed-loop glass recycling facility

Knauf Insulation's aim to ensure that recycled contents are embedded into the products it manufactures has seen the company strike a long-term partnership with waste specialists Veolia to create a closed-loop system for glass waste.

McDonald’s joins the likes of Waitrose, London City Airport, Hotel du Vin and Costa in agreeing to phase-out plastic straw use

McDonald's unveils plan to phase-out plastic straws

McDonald's will start phasing out plastic straws from UK restaurants from May, with the fast food giant ready to trial paper and biodegradable alternatives in response to consumer demand.

FareShare says it has the capacity – and a waiting list of charities wanting help – but needs access to more food

Charity calls for £15m fund to tackle UK hunger by preventing food waste

The government is being urged to introduce a £15m fund to tackle hunger by preventing food which could be eaten from going straight into landfill, animal feed or anaerobic digestion.

edie has spoken with leading figures from the UK's waste and resource management industry to hear their thoughts on the Government's deposit return scheme proposals

'Unanswered questions': Green community reacts to the UK's deposit return scheme plans

With the headlines dominated by the Government's proposals for a national deposit return scheme, edie has enlisted the insights of industry experts to gauge their thoughts on whether the move will boost the UK's resource efficiency prospects.

Businesses will be responsible for ensuring a bottle is effectively recycled once a bottle is returned

Government unveils vision for national deposit return scheme

The Government will aim to crack down on plastic pollution with a deposit return scheme in England for single-use drinks containers.

A NextGen Cup Challenge will offer accelerator grants to start-ups that have prototypes for compostable or recyclable cups

Starbucks pledges £7m to develop coffee cup solutions

Starbucks has declared a "moon shot for sustainability" by unveiling a £7m funding challenge to develop recyclable and compostable coffee cups, as well as agreeing to new "bean to cup" traceability technology to improve sourcing practices.

In 2017, Ocado redistributed 2,200 tonnes of food across the UK by working with food banks and charities

Ocado publishes near-zero food waste figures

Online supermarket Ocado has published near-zero food waste figures, believed to be the lowest in the industry.

Mike Coupe has led Sainsbury's through its commitment to reduce volumes of own packaging by 50% by 2020

Plastic packaging a 'policy failure', claims Sainsbury's boss

Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe says Britain's plastic waste crisis has been exacerbated by a "failure of public policy" and is calling for a more unified approach to recycling.

Patel suggests that packagers, retailers and waste management organisations should work holistically to develop a singular brief for packaging

Are businesses thinking about the SDGs when targeting plastics?

The recent wave of pledges against single-use plastic could lead to unintended consequences due to a lack of cross-sector alignment that is failing to examine the role of packaging in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A YouGov survey found that almost half (47%) of the public would be willing to hold onto their cup for longer if they knew they would pass a purpose-built bin

West End rolls out mobile coffee cup recycling points

Westminster street sweepers will become mobile coffee cup recycling points in a new scheme aimed at driving resource efficiency in the capital.

The one million target forms part of a wider collaborative commitment from Parley to “make eco innovation the new industry standard”

Adidas sold one million pairs of ocean plastic trainers in 2017

Sportswear giant Adidas has revealed that it sold more than one million pairs of trainers made from 95% ocean plastic last year.

Scientists used Nile red dye to fluoresce particles in the water – the dye tends to stick to the surface of plastics but not most natural materials

Microplastics found in more than 90% of bottled water, study says

A new analysis of some of the world's most popular bottled water brands says more than 90% contain tiny pieces of plastic.

Ferguson also chairs the Rationalisation of Packaging Working Group, instituted by WRAP, aimed at improving recycling

Financial incentives for recyclability the way forward, says Co-op

A fiscal system that rewards recyclability and labelling, coupled with reducing the range of polymers available for use, would enable retailers and waste management firms to better tackle the rise of plastics pollution, according to the Co-op's environment manager Iain Ferguson.

The proximity of the new facility to Knauf Insulation’s manufacturing plant, which sits next door, means that around 375,000 miles of road journeys will be saved

Veolia opens 'world-first' closed-loop glass recycling facility

A new £10m high-tech recycling facility which turns glass into insulation has been hailed as a "real boost" for the UK's circular economy.

Lidl UK joins the likes of Tesco, Co-op, Iceland and Aldi in publicly backing a deposit return scheme for plastic containers

Lidl UK exploring deposit return scheme as part of plastic waste commitment

Lidl UK has today (9 March) unveiled a package of new commitments to reduce plastic waste, including plans to remove all single-use plastic bags, reduce the quantity of plastic packaging by one-fifth and consider a deposit return scheme for plastic containers.

The Government dismissed proposals for an outright ban on all disposable cups by 2023, should all else other measures fail

'Warm words, no action': Government rejects 25p 'latte levy' proposal

MPs have criticised the Government's refusal to introduce a 25p levy on all disposable cups, with ministers accused of providing "warm words but no real action".

Aldi has signed up to a new cross-sector initiative from WRAP aimed at transforming the UK's plastics system

Aldi unveils sweeping measures to slash plastics waste

Discount chain Aldi will scrap 5p carrier bags by the end of this year and ensure all packaging on its own-label is reusable, recyclable or compostable before 2022.

Researchers claim the UK may have failed to meet its EU plastic packaging recycling targets in each year from 2008-12

Report: UK overestimates plastics recycling by one-third

The UK is significantly underestimating the amount of plastics packaging waste produced across the country, according to new research.

Large crowds gathered as representatives from Iceland, Co-op, Marks and Spencer (M&S) and Coca-Cola participated in a panel discussion on the topic of plastic waste

The big plastics debate: Industry must be fearless in zero-waste pursuit, Iceland claims

Iceland said it would not be afraid to make mistakes when tackling the issue of plastics waste, during a unique panel debate also featuring Co-op, Marks and Spencer (M&S) and Coca-Cola.

The new-style Lego elements are made from polyethylene – a soft, durable and flexible plastic that can now be made with ethanol extracted from sugar cane material

First plant-based plastic Lego pieces to go on sale

The first Lego pieces made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugar cane will go on sale this year, the company has announced.

All materials used by Harrogate are recyclable and the company runs zero-waste-to-landfill operations

Harrogate Water bottles to contain 50% recycled content

Britain's oldest water brand, Harrogate Water, has stepped up its plastic efforts with the announcement that all products will contain 50% recycled content from April 2018.

The Voluntary and Economic Incentives working group will report to ministers “shortly” with findings from a call to evidence on a deposit scheme

Government 'dragging its feet' over deposit return scheme for plastics, MPs claim

The UK Government is exploring how changes to packaging producer responsibilities and a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles and containers would be implemented in the UK, but the lack of action has been described as "unacceptable" by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC).

Starbucks has offered customers a £1 reusable cup since 2014, but is now adding the 5p charge to any paper cup purchases to drive further action

Starbucks trials 5p paper cup charge

Starbucks has today (26 February) announced a 5p surcharge trial on paper cups in select London stores in a bid to help reduce waste and encourage the uptake of reusable cups.

There is a very real chance that England, Scotland and Northern Ireland could fail to meet a targeted 50% recycling rate for 2020

Plastics and packaging: The UK's 'waste mountain' in charts

Eighteen environmental groups have urged the UK Government to deal with a growing "packaging waste mountain" by setting legally binding targets, following new waste and recycling figures published by Defra. Here, edie provides a snapshot of the UK's "waste mountain".

The Government last month unveiled its 25-Year Environment Plan, which pledges to eliminate all

MPs query Government's delay on plastics tax consultation

MPs have questioned the whereabouts of a consultation on single-use plastics first proposed by the Chancellor in last year's Autumn Budget.

Estimates suggest that around one million plastic bottles are used annually at Glastonbury

Glastonbury Festival to ban water bottles from 2019

Glastonbury Festival is undergoing an "enormous project" to create a site-wide ban on plastic water bottles when it returns in 2019.

A total of 40 MPs have also pledged to give up plastics for Lent, including minister of state for energy and clean growth Clair Perry

Church of England and ClientEarth give up plastics for Lent

The Church of England has provided worshippers with a calendar of tips to avoid using single-use plastic during Lent, with MPs and environmental law firm ClientEarth also agreeing to the pledge.

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has expressed disappointment that the report “overlooked” the benefits of EfW, while failing to provide any alternative solutions

London Assembly: Energy-from-Waste a 'last resort' option

A report which claims that London should seek to limit the amount of materials it sends to Energy-from-Waste (EfW) has been met by a mixed response from members of the sustainability community.

The campaign will encourage parents to donate surplus clothes to one of 42 participating Mothercare stores. Image: Hubbub

Mothercare and Hubbub expand baby clothing redistribution scheme nationwide

A pilot between environmental charity Hubbub and Mothercare to redistribute baby clothing is being expanded nationwide, after more than 20,000 items of clothing were allocated to around 2,000 families last year.

Campaigners are calling for the big supermarket chains to go one step further by introducing a plastic free-aisle

Morrisons follows rivals in pledge to phase out single-use plastic bags

Morrisons has become the last of the big four UK supermarket chains to commit to remove 5p single-use plastic carrier bags from its stores.

More than 100 MPs have pledged to reduce their own reliance on single-use plastic and encourage their local constituencies to follow

Michael Gove spearheads MP group pledging to plastics phase-out

More than 100 MPs, including Environment Secretary Michael Gove, have pledged to reduce single-use plastic consumption within their local constituencies, after committing to Sky Ocean Rescue's #PassOnPlastic pledge.

Asda was among leading retailers which refused to reveal the exact amount of waste they trigger, saying the information was “commercially sensitive”

Asda joins wave of supermarkets pledging to cut plastic waste

Asda has become the latest supermarket to join the war against plastic by pledging to reduce it "wherever" it can, including slashing the amount in its own-brand packaging by 10% in the next 12 months.

Some of the onsite outlets at the airport have already removed plastic straws

London City Airport implements plastic straw ban

London City Airport has become the first airport in the UK to place an outright ban on plastic straws across food and drink outlets on its premises, instead obliging outlets to use biodegradable straws available on request.

The UK recycles just 38% of its plastic packaging, while it ships more than 2.7 million tonnes of plastic waste to China every year

Plastics now a 'competitive issue' for business, CIWM chief warns

EXCLUSIVE: Eliminating unnecessary uses of plastic from production and supply chains is quickly becoming a "competitive issue" for businesses, with the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management's (CIWM) chief executive Dr Colin Church urging companies not to wait for legislation.

Under the Champions 12.3 initiative, Aldi will work with WRAP to engage its suppliers and logistic providers

Aldi pledges to halve food waste by 2030

The UK's fastest growing supermarket Aldi has pledged to reduce its operational food waste by 50% by 2030, after joining the Champions 12.3 coalition.

The new method uses heat sealing bags which eliminate the need for the widely-used plastic seal

Co-op goes plastic free for own-brand teabags

In the latest example of business attempting to combat plastic pollution, the Co-op has become the first retailer to develop a fully-biodegradable paper tea bag - removing all uses of polypropylene plastic as a result.

The Refill scheme now has more than 1,600 refill stations in 13 towns and cities in England

Water firms back national scheme to cut plastic bottle use

The water industry has launched a national scheme today (25 January) to cut plastic bottle use by tens of millions each year, while increasing the availability of free drinking water.

The UK’s own environment officials estimated that meeting ambitious recycling targets would bring benefits totalling billions of pounds

UK opposes strong EU recycling targets despite plastics pledge

The UK government is opposing strong new recycling targets across the EU despite its recent pledge to develop "ambitious new future targets and milestones", confidential documents have revealed.

In Davos, Dame Ellen MacArthur has announced the winners of the New Plastics Initiative which challenges innovators and business to find solutions to the scourge of plastics waste

Circular economy takes centre stage at Davos

Plastic waste is high on the agenda in Davos this week, with a host of corporate giants including L'Oréal, Mars and Unilever making commitments on their approach to packaging.

The UK ships more than 2.7 million tonnes of plastic waste to China, and 3.7 million tonnes of paper waste every year

Could China's import ban create a step change for UK recycling?

China's ban on the import of plastic and mixed paper waste raised fears that the UK would be plagued by mountains of waste, but amidst the hysteria the industry has been given the ideal platform to overhaul current recycling standards.

Currently, Evian ensures that its bottles are 100% recyclable and that they contain, on average, 25% recycled plastic

Evian aims for 100% recycled plastic bottles by 2025

French bottled water company Evian is the latest in a long line of brands to signal its intention to steer away from plastic waste, after announcing plans to produce bottles made from 100% recycled plastic by 2025.

The two companies join retailer Iceland in committing to tackle the growing issue of plastic waste

McDonald's and Waitrose lead business charge against plastic waste

Fast food giant McDonald's and UK retailer Waitrose are the latest companies to publicly announce plans to tackle the growing issue of plastic waste, with McDonald's setting a 2025 commitment to boost the recyclability of its packaging and Waitrose reaffirming its packaging commitments that it made in 2017.

In addition to incentivising recycling, the Commission will instead pump money into initiatives that use raw materials other than oil

EU maps out plastics vision in new strategy

The European Commission presented on Tuesday (16 January) its eagerly anticipated strategy on how the EU intends to approach plastic production and pollution over the next decade and beyond.

Retail competitors are being urged to follow Iceland's lead

Iceland pledges to remove plastic from own-brand packaging by 2023

Frozen food giant Iceland has committed to become the world's first major retailer to remove plastic packaging from its own brand products by 2023.

Disposable cups cannot be recycled by normal systems because they are made from cardboard with a tightly bonded polyethylene liner, which is difficult to remove

UK retailers see rise in sales of reusable coffee cups

Sales of reusable coffee cups are soaring in the UK, retailers are reporting, as the government hints at a tax on disposable cups.

Campaigners believe the move to eliminate plastic-stemmed cotton buds will cut Scotland's marine plastic pollution by half

Scotland pledges to ban plastic cotton buds

Scotland has unveiled plans to become the first UK country to ban the sale and manufacture of plastic stemmed cotton buds, in its latest bid to tackle marine plastics pollution.