Making more companies that produce the goods that eventually end up in our bins take responsibility for the cost of their disposal would drive down the amount of waste going to landfill.
This is the argument of environmental trade association CIWEM as it claims that increasing producer responsibility across a wider range of products will encourage manufacturers and retailers to look more carefully at resource efficiency and waste minimisation through better design.
Producer responsibility is already playing a role in some sectors - waste elctronics and electrical equipment (WEEE) for example - and CIWEM is arguing that is could be a more effective tool if used more widely.
Whilst an increasing amount of municipal waste has been diverted from landfill and recycled, the UK continues to generate 430 million tonnes of waste per annum.
CIWEM's Director of Policy, Justin Taberham, said: "Despite its efforts, the UK is currently lagging behind many other European states in this area.
"Improvements must be made to the system to further promote minimisation of the production of waste, supported by a circular flow of resources and materials designed to facilitate reuse and recycling wherever possible."
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