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The UK government has announced new plans to encourage the use of fewer resources and increase recycling

The UK government has announced new plans to encourage the use of fewer resources and increase repair, reuse and recycling as part of its “goal” to achieve a circular economy approach. Defra (The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) has launched a waste resources programme ​ ‘Maximising Resources, Minimising Waste’. The government said that it “brings together a range of measures backed by government funding”. While the new plans focus on textiles, vapes and batteries, packaging – especially plastic – is also highlighted. Defra said that the programme will “build on” measures such as the tax on plastic packaging and the bans on single-use plastic items such as cutlery and plates. The government plans to focus on construction, textiles, furniture, electronics, food, road vehicles and plastics/packaging. As part of its plans to “design out waste”, Defra says it aims to drive change in product design so that products are made to be durable, repairable and recyclable – and can be remanufactured where appropriate. The government says it will do this through policies including ecodesign, consumer information and EPR schemes. The plans include scrapping fees for households to have bulky domestic furniture collected from their homes by retailers by 2025. Defra also commits to developing policy options to “tackle” fast fashion through reuse and recycling, which includes consulting on collections of textile waste from businesses. As part of the plans, Defra says it will also consult the public on changes to the waste electricals regulations, which the government says will ensure the vape industry pay and strengthen the take-back requirements for retailers and online sellers. The government also commits to launching proposals on reforming the batteries regulations 2023.

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