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Restart Podcast Ep. 95: There’s hope yet for UK waste and repair policy, with Green Alliance

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This month, we spoke to Libby Peake, Head of Resource Policy at Green Alliance about their work on waste and resources, and how we can get the UK government to act urgently to tackle these issues. 

Libby begins by giving us a rundown on government resources policy over the last decade and how it stacks up to the measures that have been put in place in European countries. As she says, ‘bits and bobs’ have been done including on resource and energy efficiency, but it’s not what we need to make a major difference.

“The UN has been raising alarms about the amount of resources that are extracted from the earth. It’s nearly quadrupled since the 1970s and the UN has estimated that that’s driving 50% of global emissions and 90% of biodiversity loss and water stress. So, the planet cannot handle it if we keep extracting resources to this extent.”

We also touch on the UK’s shocking production of electrical waste (e-waste):  The 2024 Global E-Waste Monitor was published soon after our interview and the UK are still number 2 on the leaderboard of the world’s highest producers of e-waste per person. It’s a leaderboard that we’re not happy to be near the top of, but there are things that we can do to change this. 

One way we’re going about this is with the UK Repair and Reuse Declaration. We talk to Libby about Green Alliance’s involvement in shaping and promoting the declaration and how it could be used as a political tool in the future – including at our joint parliamentary event in May!

Now, while recent movement on Right to Repair and waste reduction policy has been slow, Libby is far from pessimistic about the future. She believes that momentum on these issues is ramping up, and as long as we – along with our amazing community and partners in the space – keep putting on pressure, changes will be coming soon. It’s the type of insight and optimism that reminds us why community repair culture is so important.


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