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ADBA to back AD's role in circular economy in parliamentary inquiry

We will shortly be responding to a Parliamentary inquiry into growing the circular economy, arguing that government should do more to support councils and businesses to roll out separate food waste collections.

By removing unavoidable food waste from household and commercial waste and prioritising it for AD, contamination of other dry recyclable materials will be significantly reduced, resulting in higher quality – and therefore higher value – recyclable materials. Source segregation also encourages the reduction of avoidable food waste, as people are able to see the quantity of food they are throwing away.

Our response will also argue for more effective support for the use of digestate from the AD process. Digestate is nutrient rich biofertiliser, which can replace carbon intensive artificial fertilisers on farmland. Recycling the nutrients in food waste is becoming increasingly important; for example, phosphorous is a finite resource yet a macromineral essential for all plant growth, with world production expected to peak in the 2030s. It is, therefore, critical to future food production that we recycle these nutrients.

If you have any comments or evidence on the below questions, please contact me at

  • What fiscal levers and policy support can Government provide to business to move towards ‘circular’ models?
  • What regulatory barriers need to be removed to innovate and create new secondary resources and markets? What new information flows are needed?
  • What can Government do to encourage individuals to re-use and recycle rather than discard (‘do the right thing’), for example through information and labelling? What should be the role of local authorities?

Submissions to the inquiry must be made by 25 April.

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