Making waste prevention a priority: Keep Britain Tidy unveils new waste hierarchy

Keep Britain Tidy, an environmental charity, has launched a new, improved version of the waste hierarchy to aid in educating the public about waste prevention and mindful consumption, stepping up the UK’s move towards a circular economy.

The waste hierarchy is a framework designed to guide people in making sustainable waste management decisions, ranking them from most to least environmentally favourable.

However, according to recent research, public understanding of the waste hierarchy is limited, often defaulting to recycling, which is only the third-best option – behind reducing and reusing. A significant confusion also exists about the terms ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’, with 30% of the population thinking these terms are interchangeable.

To address this gap, the newly revealed waste hierarchy has more detailed descriptors for each level and is visually appealing, with symbols and images illustrating which items and actions to consider under each section.

71% of research participants found the instructions on the new waste hierarchy clear to understand, 58% identified improved ways to reduce their environmental impact beyond only recycling and 51% felt inspired to protect the environment.

To help you implement this shift towards sustainability, a trusted waste management company, like Grundon, will use its expertise to find innovative ways to manage the waste your operations produce. We can offer bespoke engagement training to help your business reduce waste and reuse materials better. Plus, we’ll help you adjust your disposal methods to align with the new waste hierarchy, ultimately contributing to long-term cost savings and environmental benefits.

Grundon supports The Waste Hierarchy through:

  • Diverting 100% general waste from landfill

  • Recovering energy from waste to generate electricity for the National Grid

  • Utilising the by-products from the energy from waste process to produce aggregate and construction materials

  • Sending food waste to anaerobic digestion facilities to produce renewable energy and nutrient rich fertilisers

  • Baling recyclable materials and sending them to specialised reprocessors and manufacturers to create new products

  • Extracting and capturing gas from recycled inhalers and reusing it in the refrigeration industry

The updated waste hierarchy highlights the critical role all businesses have in managing resources responsibly. Collaborating with a waste provider such as Grundon can assist your company in innovating and excelling within resource efficiency and circular economy practices.

For more information, the full report is available to download from Keep Britain Tidy’s website.