Recolight, a UK’s lighting WEEE compliance scheme, has set a target to be net zero carbon by 2030. The target, agreed by the Recolight board in January, will cover all Recolight’s operations.
Commenting on the news, Recolight CEO Nigel Harvey said
“As a recycling compliance scheme, Recolight is already committed to limiting the environmental impact of the services we provide. But now we want to go much further. Although recycling activities are undoubtedly beneficial for the environment, they still come with a carbon cost. We want to change that.”
A recycling service can produce significant carbon benefits. For example when aluminium is recycled, that avoids the need to extract the metal from bauxite, a process that is very energy intensive. However, a collection and recycling service also incurs material carbon costs, particularly when waste is transported from collection point to recycler.
“Dealing with the transport carbon will be particularly challenging. In our next tender for transport services and treatment services, due at the end of this year, 25% of the evaluation points will be awarded for robust plans and actions towards achieving net zero.”
To provide an incentive and roadmap to help the industry work towards net zero carbon Recolight plans to make up to £50,000 available, on a competitive basis. This is intended to help companies establish zero carbon or low carbon collection, or recycling, of waste lamps.
“This is not going to be easy. But we are determined to make it happen. What is more, wherever possible, we will avoid carbon offsets and similar creative carbon accounting. We need a root and branch change of the way we operate. That will probably only be possible if others in the WEEE and recycling industries also play their parts.”