Rag pickers collect recyclable material at a garbage dump in New Delhi Reuters

More rigorous recycling could create upwards of 200,000 jobs, according to a green charity.

A report from Green Alliance and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap) says that growth within the recycling sector could have a long lasting effect on the job markets because of the "intensive" use of labour in the relevant sectors.

The two organisations state that the bucket load of jobs could come from an increase in activities like biorefining, repair and remanufacture reuse, and closed and open loop recycling.

The North East and West Midlands could feel the biggest impact from increased activity in the recycling programme, the report adds, as these areas have high unemployment.

The report says that by 2030, there could be 205,000 extra jobs, with unemployment dropping by 54,000.

Wrap chief executive Liz Goodwin said: "If we carry on consuming at the rate we do we face a future of highs and lows. High demand, and high costs for goods. Yet lower levels of supply, and lower supply chain resilience.

"Highs and lows which only really equal lows. So the challenge we have is creating growth in austere times, against the backdrop of future consumption challenges. The circular economy, being more resource efficient, is central in addressing these challenges."

Green Alliance director Matthew Spencer continued: "At a time when many are worried about where jobs will come from in future, it is a tantalising prospect to have a sector which offers a wide range of new jobs right across the country, especially in regions with high unemployment.

"To be able to stimulate these new jobs in remanufacturing and reuse we will need government to play its part in setting higher standards for product and resource recovery."