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Home Improvement retailers surpass landfill reduction targets

Signatories to the Waste & Resources Action Programme’s (WRAP) Home Improvement Sector Commitment (HISC) have surpassed their landfill reduction target, the advisory body has announced.

Set up in 2009, HISC saw home improvement retailers such as B&Q, Homebase and Wickes, commit to reducing packaging by 15 per cent by the end of 2012 (based on 2007 baseline - as this was when WRAP brought together and facilitated a working group of home improvement retailers on behalf of UK governments), reduce waste to landfill from their operations by 50 per cent by the end of 2012 and ‘help consumers recycle more’.

According to new figures released by WRAP today (27 August), the signatories have surpassed their targets, reducing waste sent to landfill by 83 per cent (14,610 tonnes), and reducing packaging by 34 per cent, or 25 per cent when adjusted for sales (74,632 tonnes).

Examples of the initiatives introduced by signatories to reduce waste included:

B&Q’s reusable packaging systems for home delivery of kitchen worktops and components;
The Home Retail Group’s (Argos & Homebase) packaging take-back scheme for home deliveries of bulky kitchen appliances, and take-back of old appliances for recycling;
Wickes’s ‘back-hauling’ of waste from stores to distribution centres for consolidation and recycling;
Crown Paints’s paint pot take-back scheme at all its Crown Decorator Centre Stores; and
Dulux’s Community RePaint scheme which redistributed over 650,000 litres of leftover and unwanted paint to community projects.
‘Vitally important’ waste production is reduced

Speaking of the achievement, Liz Goodwin, WRAP’s Chief Executive 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 for Agriculture and Food 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.”

Both Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead and Welsh Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies, have commended the HISC signatories, with Davies adding that it is ‘vitally important’ that the amount of waste produced continues to be reduced.

However, despite praising the commitment’s achievements, the relevant governments and signatories have ‘agreed’ that is was ‘not a priority’ to set additional targets on the same themes going forward. Instead, signatories have said they will ‘continue to take action and monitor trends in packaging and waste arising for another year and report these to WRAP to give further insight into changes in the amount of packaging and waste arising’.

With the HISC agreement complete, WRAP has said it will continue to work to reduce the environmental impacts of key home and workplace products through a range of different programmes. This includes the newly funded REBus project, and its Electrical Product Pathfinder Group, which seeks to identify actions to reduce the impact of electrical products.

Source : Annie Reece –

28 August 2013
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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.

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