The environmental, social and economic benefits of waste prevention

This section sets out reasons why waste prevention should be integral to any waste strategy.

Preventing municipal waste will:

  • help meet national policy drivers, namely the Government Review of Waste Policy in England and the associated Action Plan, plus the waste prevention programme for England (these are themselves driven by EU legislation);
  • reduce demands on finite natural resources and the associated environmental impacts of the extraction, harvesting and processing of those resources;
  • minimise greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste collection, transportation and treatment;
  • reduce local authority waste management budget due to decreased quantities of waste;
  • encourage social inclusion and economic development through creating jobs, volunteer schemes and training opportunities as well as improving access to reduced price goods for lower income families; and,
  • free up consumers’ financial resources for potentially more economically productive endeavours - consuming less will use fewer financial resources to purchase products that become waste.