Waste Management

Nation Challenged to Combat Wasters

Jul 10 2012 Read 477 Times

A £50,000 prize fund has been launched to combat the UK’s waste, as groups and organisations are called upon to enter their ideas to bring people together in new ways to address the growing problem and encourage waste prevention, reuse and recycling.

Despite significant success in waste reduction, dramatic improvement is still needed in the approach of every household, business and community towards our consumption and throwing away of unwanted food, goods and products. The arguments for prevention, re-use and recycling are compelling, with WRAP alone estimating that we could reduce our reliance on raw materials by 20 per cent by 2020 if we pursue opportunities to re-use.

The new Waste Reduction challenge launched by innovation foundation Nesta, and funded by the Cabinet Office is encouraging groups and organisations to enter their ideas to help reduce the nation’s waste by engaging communities to give their times, skills and resources.

Vicki Purewal, head of Centre for Challenge Prizes at Nesta, explains, “When it comes to great ideas, the UK is world-leading and hard working. But when it comes to rubbish, we are still a nation of wasters. This challenge taps into the ingenuity of people to bring their time, skills and resources together in new ways to reduce waste.”

Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society said, “We want to make it easier and more compelling for people to get involved in their communities. That is why we set up the Challenge Prizes to mobilise people to come up with creative solutions to social problems such as reducing waste.”

As we approach 2020 environmental targets, innovation is needed to encourage and enable every pocket of the UK to be waste conscious. The Waste Reduction prize will be awarded to the innovation that has the greatest impact in reducing, reusing and recycling, by providing new opportunities for communities to come together to give time, skills and resources.

25 entries will be shortlisted and given the support and opportunity to develop a detailed plan for the concept. Five concepts with the potential for sustainability and scale will then receive professional coaching and piloting of their projects before the winning project is selected.

Waste Reduction is one of two Giving Challenges initiatives launched by Nesta’s Centre for Challenge Prizes and the Cabinet Office. The challenge is open to not-for-profit, private and public sector organisations, as well as non-constituted groups and partnerships that are coming together for the first time to develop their ideas. Entry to the challenge is via online application at www.nesta.org.uk/givingchallenges and the deadline is noon 14 September 2012.


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