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WRAP study says more recycling equals increased em - RT - Recycling Today

Recycling Today, 22 Jan 2015 - Study finds that more than 200,000 jobs may be created in the U.K. as the recycling sector grows.

A study released by two United Kingdom-based groups, WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) and Green Alliance, claims the growth of the recycling and reuse industries in the U.K. over the next 15 years could result in the creation of more than 200,000 jobs.

The report, “Employment and the circular economy: job creation in a more resource efficient Britain,” finds that the development of resource efficiency, unlike other industrial transitions, will require more labor.

The study forecasts that under the current development path, by the year 2030 the reuse economy could require an additional 205,000 jobs, which would reduce unemployment by around 54,000 and offset 11 percent of future job losses in skilled employment.

Walter Stahel, one of the founders of the U.K.’s circular economy concept, says, “A circular economy will directly create numerous jobs with a broad diversity of skills at local and regional levels, and give rise to new SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises).”

In addition, Stahel says, a circular economy will create skilled jobs to develop the innovative processes and technologies needed “to most profitably close the loops.”

Stephen Machin, professor of Economics at University College London, says, "Creating jobs with decent pay as innovative technologies evolve is a challenge, given the UK's traditional difficulties in generating good jobs for workers with low and intermediate skills. This report emphasizes the need for this kind of job creation, especially given the decline in jobs in the middle tier of the labor market."

Liz Goodwin, CEO of WRAP, adds, “We’ve long been talking about the benefits of the resource efficiency agenda, working with businesses and turning ideas into action. But this report is the first of its kind that pinpoints exactly who, what and where benefits from the implementation of the circular economy. This signals a major new opportunity for Britain’s economy, and could deliver jobs where they’re needed the most.”

Matthew Spencer, director of Green Alliance, says, “At a time when many are worried about where jobs will come from in future, it is a tantalizing prospect to have a sector that offers a wide range of new jobs right across the country, especially in regions with high unemployment.”


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