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Call for reforms in packaging

Following the publication of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) Resources and Waste Strategy for England, published in December 2018, the Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (Incpen) has called for reforms in packaging.

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Calls are being made for reforms in packaging to improve recycling rates

Incpen says the consultations on extensive packaging reforms, which cover both extended producer responsibility and the tax on virgin plastic proposed in last year’s budget, marks a “brilliant opportunity to turbo-boost the nation’s recycling programme.”

Commenting, Paul Vanston, chief executive officer of Incpen says: “It is essential the collaborative efforts of 2018 continue with even greater industriousness across the packaging supply chain and with our partners in councils, with the resources management sector, and with recyclers and re-processors. With an anticipated injection of up to £1bn from producers, it’s vital this money is seen as additional, and turbo boosts recycling rates.

“The strategy is an opportunity to electrify a renewed national culture that sees a 50% recycling rate for our country as a minimum threshold from which we have a clear plan to advance strongly towards 65%.”

Speaking to Materials Recycling World, Pat Jennings, head of policy and communications at the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management says: “The consultations open up the opportunity to fundamentally change our approach to packaging recycling.

The strategy is an opportunity to electrify a renewed national culture that sees a 50% recycling rate for our country as a minimum threshold

“The proposals would ensure the whole supply chain’s engagement, with producers required to fund the recovery and recycling of their packaging adequately, and local authorities tasked with ensuring that collection services are consistent and achieve the quality needed to put valuable materials back into the market.”

Although recent statistics released by UK Gov show that the UK has exceeded its EU packaging waste recycling target to recycle at least 60% of packaging waste, some worry that public confusion and material complications arising from the introduction of new and alternative materials by producers could be causing negative consequences to the current Resources and Waste Strategy.

In a statement on the release of the strategy in December, Defra says: “Packaging reform is government’s immediate priority. We will launch a consultation to reform the packaging waste regulations shortly. We will ensure that the reformed system will match or exceed targets set by the EU.”

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter.

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