House of Lords evidence session targets economic value of waste

A House of Lords committee is meeting today to explore the opportunities of creating a multi-million pound economy from waste products across agriculture, industry and households.

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will host an evidence session in which it will hear from big business and global environmental experts on current and future products that can be made from waste.

These include using new technologies to recover organic materials such as orange peel and coffee grounds that can be converted into fragrances, plastics or fuel.

In the first of two sessions, the committee take a closer look at current and in-the-pipeline products, and how successfully they might be marketed.

It will also examine what sort of market exists for these products, how profit margins might be improved, whether all stages of research and development are adequately funded, and whether incentives are constructive or detrimental to a healthy market.

In the second session, the committee will hear about the environmental impact from the marketing and production of these products.

Those sitting on the committee include Colin Tattam from the Chemistry Innovation Knowledge Transfer Network (CI-KTN), Peter Williams, CEO of INEOS Bio, and Mike Goosey, former manager of biofuels R&D at Shell.

It will be taking evidence from Dr Michael Warhurst at Friends of the Earth, Professor Richard Murphy, at the University of Surrey’s Centre for Environmental Strategy, and Dr Jim Philp from OECD.

Maxine Perella

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