Our economy was built on a wasteful pattern: we make things out of valuable raw materials that last for a few years, and then stick these raw materials back into the ground as landfill. This no longer makes sense.
The economics are clear. Even broken products contain valuable materials, which should be worth enough to keep them out of landfill – but too many still end up in landfill. Because these products have been difficult to collect and difficult to recycle, we continue to lose the resources inside them. It turns out that getting materials out of landfill is surprisingly difficult. Market signals haven’t been enough on their own.
This infographic identifies that £2.5bn of resources could be recovered each year by extending landfill restrictions similar to those applied to cars and waste electronics to food, textiles, wood, and plastics.