Part of the Government’s waste strategy, WRAP has been created to work with businesses, manufacturers, researchers and local authorities in order to develop new markets for recycled materials (see related story).

“One of my main objectives as chair of WRAP is to get waste on to the agenda of every board of directors in the country,” said Vic Cocker, Chair of WRAP (see related story). “Directors should know the volume of waste their business is producing, how much of it is being recycled, and what is happening to the rest. They should also be looking for opportunities to use recycled materials, and encouraging their supply chains to do so.”

“WRAP’s immediate focus will be on the development of market mechanisms to stimulate demand for recycled materials and encourage more reuse and recycling,” added Cocker.

The Government’s waste strategy, published in May, requires local authorities to double recycling and composting of household waste to 17% by 2003, triple it to 25% by 2005, and to rise to 33% by 2015.

“WRAP is one of the key mechanisms for delivering our commitments in the Waste Strategy,” said Environment Minister, Michael Meacher, at the launch. “It will make a major contribution to delivering increased recycling, which must be at the heart of a fundamental shift in our attitudes to waste management.”

WRAP’s first projects will include a product standards programme, identifying and establishing the standards which will create customer confidence in the market. The programme will also be working towards alerting manufacturers to the range of potential uses of recycled materials.

“This exciting new programme is the next step forward in the environmental modernisation of business,” said Patricia Hewitt, Minister for e-commerce and small businesses. “It will offer firms the opportunity to cut costs and improve competitiveness by making more efficient use of natural resources.”

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