Manufacturers and environmental campaigners have joined forces to urge the Government to take coordinated action on the looming natural resources crisis facing the UK economy.
In a letter sent to the Government today, the organisations which include manufacturers’ body EEF and Friends of the Earth, are calling for a Whitehall action plan on UK resource security, including establishing a new Office Of Resource Management.
They claim without such action, valuable raw materials such as steel, wheat, rubber and the ‘rare earths’ used to make every day electronic products will become increasingly costly with severe consequences for UK industry and the earth’s fragile ecosystems.
The cost of raw materials has already risen dramatically in recent years and the demand for resources is expected to soar in the future as the global population surges.
UK manufacturers are already rating raw material shortages as their biggest risk. A recent EEF survey of its members revealed 80 per cent regard a shortage of raw materials as a risk to their business, with two thirds saying it was a top risk and one in six companies saying it was a brake on growth. But in its report, published earlier this year, the EEF criticised the Government over its commercial and industrial waste strategy, saying it failed to tackle the looming resource crisis.
Today’s action plan not only calls for the establishment of an Office for Resource Management, but also recommends setting up a task force to review existing targets and recommend policy changes to improve recycling, and calls for the banning of recyclable materials from ‘energy from waste’ plants and landfills.