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Hubbub launches 'Greenprint' manifesto for UK’s Covid-19 recovery

A levy on fast fashion items and mandatory reporting of food waste for large retailers are among the policy recommendations made in behaviour change charity Hubbub’s manifesto  sustainable recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Launched on 8 September, Hubbub’s Greenprint for a Better Britain has surveyed businesses, local government and charities to come up with policies targeting food waste, transport, textiles and recycling and ensure a green recovery from the pandemic.

Janet and Ken Hancock receive food deliveryThe Greenprint contributes to the chorus of voices calling for a sustainable recovery from the pandemic, seeing plans for recovery as an opportunity to provide more sustainable jobs, environmental policies and preparation for future challenges.

Despite a  drop in food waste generated during lockdown, levels of food waste have
increased as lockdown has eased. Hubbub’s manifesto features progressive policies surrounding food waste, including that all major retailers should be required to independently measure and report annual food waste levels, a policy previously called for by Tesco.

With the retail sector responsible for one million tonnes of food waste a year across its supply chain, unsold food could go towards feeding vulnerable people with more community food hubs being created, suggests the Greenprint.

Hubbub’s research also showed that 56 percent of the public have been appreciating green spaces more with 43 percent spending more time in green spaces compared to before lockdown. With green spaces being used more than ever, the Greenprint calls for the creation of national standards and guidance for all local authorities to provide well-marked litter and recycling facilities in green locations.

Lockdown also saw people reassess their relationship with their clothing, with the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) forecasting a clear-out of 67 million clothes after lockdown.

To make the fashion industry more sustainable, the Greenprint calls for minimum thresholds for fashion retailers to invest in research and development for textile recycling. Under this threshold, each outlet will be required to pay a levy on every item of clothing sold that is not recyclable. A similar idea was previously called for by Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee (EAC).

Hubbub has gained support from a number of companies. Helen McFarlene from Restaurant Sustainability at Mcdonald’s said: “At McDonald’s we are committed to tackling litter and to help increase recycling in the communities we serve. We were proud to partner with Hubbub in their Leeds by Example campaign which demonstrated the impact that clearly-marked recycling facilities can have in reducing littering in public spaces and increasing recycling on-the-go. Adopting this policy would help make sure our green spaces stay clean and litter-free.“

Executive Director of the Environmental Services Association (ESA), Jacob Hayler said:  “The global pandemic has radically and rapidly changed the way many of us live our daily lives, but we also have the opportunity to make 2020 a positive turning point towards a greener Britain. That is why the ESA supports the policy asks set out in Hubbub’s Greenprint for a Better Britain, which, if adopted, will foster a greater sense of community and help us all to live, travel, eat and dress more sustainably.”

You can find out more about the Greenprint for a Better Britain on Hubbub’s website.

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