Landfill tax on the increase
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By Tony Moscrop, chief executive, Dufaylite
11 April 2012
Tony Moscrop advises businesses to take stock of rising landfill costs
It may have been April Fool's Day recently, but the latest rise in landfill tax on April 1st is definitely no joke. Each year the UK generates at least 280m tonnes of waste, and currently more than half of this is sent to landfill.
Now at £64 per tonne and set to increase at a rate of at least £8 per year, landfill tax is an expense that no business can afford to ignore. Reducing the volume of waste being sent to landfill has to be a priority; especially when you consider that by 2014 the tax will have reached a very costly £80 per tonne – and will still be on the rise.
My advice is for businesses to rethink their product lifecycle strategy. The age-old 'Cradle to Grave' process needs to be switched for a sustainable 'Cradle to Cradle' approach that takes into account new uses for the product once it has fulfilled its original purpose. Our Ultra Board product is created from up to 87 percent recovered fibres so it's already had at least one life before even reaching the printers and designers. It is then recycled again at the end of use, continuing the cycle and moving on to a variety of applications – the possibilities, and process, are quite literally endless.
On top of making a saving in landfill tax, many recyclers will pay up to £100 per tonne for waste paper products like Ultra Board. Taking this into account, the difference in price across the whole lifecycle could be as much as nearly £200; making it a worthwhile reward for any business considering the switch to sustainable materials.
As well as the obvious financial benefits, increased consumer pressure is another factor forcing businesses to increase recycling initiatives and look closely at their supply chain to see how sustainable products and materials can be employed.
Many retailers already have zero landfill targets and strategies to reach them, so now is definitely the time for the display and signage industry to take advantage of this and re-evaluate the materials in use. As landfill tax continues to rise, so does the importance of providing solutions that can be recycled easily and with little or no need for dismantling. Swapping traditional PVC substrates for sustainable alternatives is a crucial move in reducing the waste sent to landfill, not only reducing business impact on the environment but also benefitting that all-important bottom line.
Tony Moscrop is chief executive of recycled paper honeycomb manufacturer Dufaylite.
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