UK DIY sector ‘exceeds challenging’ waste targets

Businesses signed up to the Home Improvement Sector Commitment (HISC) have significantly surpassed original targets of reducing both waste to landfill and packaging in the DIY sector.

Members of the commitment represent almost half of the UK’s home improvement retail sales with signatories including AkzoNobel UK Decorative Paints, Argos, B&Q, Crown Paints, Henkel, Homebase, and Wickes.

Orchestrating the commitment, WRAP has found that at the end of 2012 signatories had delivered an 83% reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill, against a target of 50%.

In addition, signatories exceeded the packaging-reduction target of 15%, managing to reduce packaging by an impressive 25% against a 2007 baseline. The four year voluntary agreement ran from 2009 to 2012.

WRAP’s chief executive Liz Goodwin said: “The results delivered by the DIY sector are deeply impressive. I congratulate all the signatories on their achievements in what has been a testing time for the sector.

“Overall, the activities of all signatories have improved product and packaging design that make recycling easier. There is now clearer recycling guidance for suppliers and consumers, particularly with the greater use of the On-Pack Recycling Label in store.”

Defra Environment Minister David Heath said: “Cutting waste is not only good for the environment but can help businesses save money and boost economic growth. It’s fantastic to see DIY businesses working together to cut waste and unnecessary packaging and exceeding the challenging targets set in this agreement.”

In July, a group of DIY retailers, builders’ merchants and manufacturers agreed to introduce a voluntary labelling scheme to help consumers identify the water efficiency of bathroom fittings.

Also set up by WRAP, the companies involved include Argos, B&Q, Chandlers’ Building Supplies, Homebase, Travis Perkins, Saint Gobain, Wolseley UK and Southern Water.

Leigh Stringer

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