The war on waste in the UK has been long standing, with many EU senior officials are now saying that the move to a circular economy is an economic and environmental necessity. As fossil fuels subsidies come to an end and the UK triggers Article 50, there is a sense of urgency to create a society where nothing is wasted to ensure we don’t fall behind the rest of Europe and the world in our actions to save the planet.
Large companies across the UK have committed to renewable alternatives in order to join the Circular Economy movement. Waitrose is currently in the process of purchasing 50 100% biomethane gas-fuelled trucks operating in its fleet by the end of 2017, in an effort to lower emissions from its distribution fleet. The John Lewis-owned company has been operating 12 “dedicated” compressed natural gas (CNG) biomethane fuel trucks in its 500-strong fleet since January 2017. In addition, Tesco, has pledged to deliver 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, as the supermarket giant unveils tougher Science-Based Targets to help achieve its long-term emissions reduction plan.
The concept of a circular economy, just as most renewable energy sources, relies on the idea of generating energy from existing products. These can include both bio-degradable and non-biodegradable products. Investment firms across the UK are heavily investing in waste-to-energy businesses. Recently, an infrastructure investment manager has bought a 13MW portfolio of anaerobic digestion (AD) plants. A new waste plant is also turning food waste into fertiliser and energy. The anaerobic digestion plant in London Colney, in Hertfordshire, will convert 48,000 tonnes of organic waste per year. By processing 48,000 tonnes of waste a year, the plant should generate 3MW of electricity, which would be enough energy to supply more than 5,900 homes.