24 SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS – GREEN LUNCH FOCUS well connected Time for a change – How can the Circular Economy support your Business? As our global economy A View from the Bridge! Work is well underway on the Mersey Gateway Project, a major civil engineering scheme to build a new sixlane cable-stayed toll bridge over the River Mersey and a 9.2 kilometre road network connecting the new bridge to the main motorway network. At a local level, the project will provide a much needed new link between the towns of Runcorn and Widnes and will relieve the congested and ageing Silver Jubilee Bridge. The Mersey Gateway Project is one of the largest infrastructure initiatives in the UK and has been identified as one of the UK government’s Top 40 priority projects in the National Infrastructure Plan. The project will bring huge estimated benefits for people and businesses in Halton, the Liverpool city-region, Cheshire and across the north west including reduced travel times, inward investment and regeneration. A ‘green’ project, the Mersey Gateway is starting to bring major environmental benefits to the local area. A unique new charity – the Mersey Gateway Environmental Trust – has been created to promote the conservation, protection and improvement of the environment across a 1600 hectare area of the Upper Mersey Estuary running from the new bridge up river to Warrington. The Trust, which will also manage a new 28.5 hectare nature reserve alongside the bridge, is unique for a major construction project in the UK. Join us on Tuesday 17 January for the next Chamber Green Lunch (sponsored by Clarke Energy) when we will be joined by Paul Oldfield (Environmental & Biodiversity Manager) and Dr Peter Fitch (Environment and Contamination Adviser). For more information please email events@liverpoolchamber. org.uk continues to grow, the challenges of meeting the increasing demand for products and services is unparalleled. The Chamber’s Green Lunch in September (sponsored by Merseyside Environmental Network) explored some of the issues in more detail with presentations from Carl Beer, Chief Executive of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority, and Helen White, Operations Manager for Bulky Bobs. 14 million tonnes of resources and products enter the Liverpool City Region each year and despite the efforts made to manage these resources – at least 4 million tonnes are still sent to landfill. To make a real change, a new business model is needed which can support the City Region to be economically competitive and sustainable in a global market, create jobs and new skills, protect businesses from resource scarcity and contribute to improved social and community values. Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) is advocating a Circular Economy approach, and is calling on partners to join the drive to value our resources and eliminate waste through better design of products and systems. Examples include extending the life and durability of products and increasing waste prevention, developing initiatives including producer responsibility ‘take back’ schemes, upgrading rather than replacing products, reducing packaging further, providing more refillable goods to consumers and creating models for leasing products and repairing items. If we want to stop being a throwaway society, we also need to change consumer attitudes so that waste is seen as a resource. MRWA is currently developing a new Circular Economy Network Group and a new online Resource Hub for the City Region. If you want to learn more about the value of a Circular Economy to your business and community then MRWA want to hear from you. Please contact Tony Scott at MRWA Tony.Scott@ merseysidewda.gov.uk Tel: 0151 255 2567.
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