New beginning for the end

Closure of the Environment Agency’s ‘definition of waste panel’ sent mixed messages on achieving end of waste but what does its reopening say about it, and what have we learned from its absence? Conor McGlone investigates

Playground surfaces made from old tires meet end-of-waste criteria as a new product. Photograph: 123RFAchieving ‘end of waste’ is a crucial component of any functioning circular economy. At the heart of a closed-loop society is the idea that there is no place for waste.

The waste hierarchy shows that only a fraction is entirely unpreventable and sent to landfill. The rest is recovered when waste is incinerated, or, even better, recycled or reused and kept in the cycle.

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