Launching a new report called Making Ends Meet: Maximising the value of waste, the business group highlights the benefits of moving to a zero-waste economy.
As well as meeting targets to cut the amount of rubbish sent to landfill and helping achieve climate change goals, the CBI report claims that an ambitious waste policy could provide growth opportunities for businesses by making it easier for more firms to sell their recyclable waste to other companies as a resource. It could also encourage councils to share waste and recycling facilities, creating savings.
With the waste policy review imminent, the CBI is calling for a cross-department approach from the Government and changes to the planning regime to deliver the investment needed in waste management infrastructure.
Dr Neil Bentley, CBI Deputy Director-General, said: “We risk missing a trick by not harnessing the huge potential of waste. Rather than being viewed in isolation, waste management should be seen as an important part of the green economy and our growth strategy.
“Ambitious waste policies will allow the Government to hit a broad range of its objectives from cutting emissions to bolstering energy security. We should also be encouraging councils to share recycling and waste facilities, while businesses could be incentivised to sell their recyclable waste.
“But moving to a zero-waste economy will require government departments working together and thinking outside the box. There also needs to be swift action to tackle delays in the planning system. On average it takes seven years for a waste management company to get a plant up and running, of which four are spent in the planning process. That is not the way to attract investment.”