Treasury urged to transform the UK’s circular economy

A new report suggests a potential reconstruction in the way the UK repairs, reuses and recycles could create nearly 450,000 jobs by 2035

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The HM Treasury has been urged to transform the UK’s approach to repair, reuse, recycling and remanufacturing, a move that is predicted to create more than 450,000 jobs across the country by 2035.

That’s according to a new report by the independent think tank Green Alliance, which estimates a potential reconstruction of the UK’s circular economy could see more than 300,000 new jobs in remanufacturing and 30,000 in repair work within the next 15 years.

The charity calls on the Treasury to bring in a string of new policies, including the implementation of zero VAT on repairs and refurbishment to increase consumer demand, an ambitious target to halve resource use by mid-century and retraining programmes to encourage more workers to move into the circular economy.

Zoe Avison from Green Alliance said: “A big programme to avoid unnecessary waste and reclaim the value of materials would not only help consumers but create jobs in communities across the country.

“This is a great opportunity for the Chancellor to show his commitment to expanding innovation, and for the government to show the meaning of levelling up.”

A government spokesperson said: “The government is firmly committed to seizing the immense economic opportunities presented by the transition to a low carbon economy and that extends to creating thousands of jobs across the country, while ensuring British workers have the skills to fill them.

“We are taking wide-ranging action to reduce the amount of materials and packaging we use and move us towards a circular economy. Through our major waste reforms, we will boost recycling, reduce waste and incentivise the use of more sustainable materials.”