Feeds

Lords call for variable VAT to cut landfill

Stop picking on householders

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has said the government should do more to encourage businesses to recycle and reduce waste and take the focus away from householders.

Recent attempts to reduce domestic waste by weighing dustbins and banning carrier bags should be scrapped in favour of changing the VAT regime so British firms do more to tackle waste. But British "throwaway" society also needs to be addressed, the Lords said.

Witnesses told the committee that consumers were often confused about the overall environmental impact of products, for instance focussing on packaging which usually makes up only a small part of the total enviromental impact of a product.

In its sixth report the committee accepted that the landfill tax is useful to counter business waste, but also recommends changes to VAT to encourage more sustainable products.

There is an acceptance that creating sustainable products can be against the interests of a business based on selling replacements. It suggests continued work with the EC to promote "eco-labels"; this would help consumers who have been distracted by heavy promotion of recycling instead of waste reduction.

Businesses should see waste reduction as an opportunity - Enviroment Agency figures from 2003 showed UK firms could save between £2bn and £2.9bn if they followed best practises for cutting waste.

The Lords said they were disappointed at recent funding cuts for organisations which support businesses in reducing waste, such as Envirowise and the Market Transformation Programme. It called for part of landfill tax revenue to be ring-fenced for use in reducing waste.

The government should also lead by example and improve training of its own procurement officers, so they look at the lifetime costs of the products they buy.

The committee also called for "choice editing" - essentially removing less environmentally-friendly options from shops. This is already in use for certain products - you can only buy "low-energy" lightbulbs for example - but the Lords support its wider use. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.