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Greater Manchester is set to roll out a new plan to support businesses and residents across the city-region cut waste and create a more circular economy.
GMCA’s Sustainable Consumption Plan (SCP) was approved by council leaders on 24th June and supports the five-year Environment Plan already in place since 2019. The SCP sets out what is needed for Greater Manchester businesses to move to a model that is more reliant on reusing and recycling materials as part of plans for the city-region to be carbon neutral by 2038. Residents will also be empowered through the plan to make more sustainable life choices.
The Sustainable Consumption Plan has four key priority areas:
- Moving to a Circular Economy
- Managing Waste Sustainably
- Reducing Food Waste
- Moving to Sustainable Lifestyles
Under the plan, GMCA will look to drive innovation to help businesses change their culture over reusing and recycling, and will start with the working with the textiles industry on a business-to-business platform to eliminate waste and create a more circular economy. GMCA waste contractor, SUEZ, will also continue work at its Renew Hub to repair unwanted items for resale, with proceeds reinvested back into local communities.
Cllr Neil Emmott, GMCA Lead for Green City Region and Waste & Recycling, said:
“As our society faces more economic pressures, we need to help people and businesses reduce avoidable waste, which can also reduce bills. We need to keep products and materials in use for longer to reduce pressure on the environment. Globally, we currently extract three times the number of natural resources than we did over 30 years ago. This figure is also expected to more than double by 2060 if we don’t make significant changes now.
“We need to see waste as a design flaw, not part of the process. This means changing how products are made and used in our city region. The public sector can support this by changing the way we buy goods and services, but we need other consumers and producers to play their part. This plan gives us a framework to work together on making system-wide changes, beginning with a focus on food, plastics and textiles.
“A huge part of this is supporting our region’s businesses to operate in a way that causes the least amount of waste without impacting their success; moving away from the make, use, dispose model and instead adopting an approach of replacing the use of scarce resources with fully renewable, recyclable or biodegradable materials. This needs to involve businesses working together to find the best ways of doing this within their industry.
“We all have to be better joined-up in how we tackle problems around waste. In particular, with the huge pressures people currently face just to feed their families, it’s just not acceptable that we also have a problem with food wastage. We need to – and will – explore new ways of ensuring food that would be going to waste is going to those who really need it. This will support our commitment to creating a greener future, but a fairer one too.
“We all have a part to play in making the changes we need so, as a city region, we are more resilient and are living more sustainably and we’ll continue to work hard to create more awareness on how people and businesses can reduce their negative impact on the planet.”