There has been significant success in reducing waste in recent years, but it remains an enormous challenge and an area which needs new solutions.
Nesta and the Cabinet Office see this as an opportunity to motivate people to consider the challenges facing communities and to be inspired to share their ideas.
We want to encourage new ideas that can influence and mobilise communities of 'Givers' to make significant reductions in waste and impact behaviours for years to come.
Why did we do this?
- We throw away more than 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year from our homes - most of which could have been safely consumed.
- UK hospitality sector (hotels, pubs, restaurants and quick service restaurants) could save £724 million a year by tackling food waste.
- Our research shows doubling the number of sofas re-used, could save 52,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. At the moment, 83per cent of sofas are not re-used and are sent to landfill or recycled.
- Between now and 2020, WRAP estimates that electronic waste in the UK will total more than 12 million tonnes. A quarter of this will comprise of IT equipment, consumer electronics and display screens. This 12 million tonnes will include precious metals, which have a total estimated market value of £7 billion.
- Nearly 25 per cent of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) that's taken to household waste recycling centres could be re-used, worth around £200m gross a year.
- By pursuing opportunities for re-use, the UK could reduce its reliance on raw materials by as much as 20 per cent by 2020.
Source: The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)
In September 2012, we launched the Waste Reduction Challenge Prize, offering a prize for the innovation that achieved the biggest measureable reduction in waste, by providing new opportunities for communities to come together to give time, skills and resources.
People who are part of communities are best placed to understand the needs, motivations and opportunities within these communities. We think this makes them brilliantly placed to come up with great ideas that could prove to be highly effective.
Our shortlisted applicants were:
The Gleaning Network was eventually awarded the £50,000 prize for its Feeding the 5000 project.
Nesta produced a Waste Reduction Challenge Prizes report outlining the insights gained as a result of running the challenge to:
- Share insights about the value of, and principles for the giving of time, skills and resource at community level to support waste reduction
- Encourage the development of more impactful and cost effective approaches
- Share learning about the effectiveness of using challenge prizes to stimulate social innovation
If you have any questions about the Waste Reduction Challenge Prize, email [email protected].