Association slams UK recycling targets

Comments Email Print Reprints

LONDON (Feb. 7, 1:15 p.m. ET) — The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has slammed the coalition government’s preferred option for plastics packaging recycling targets in the United Kingdom, labeling the proposals “a further burden on an already struggling sector.”

In a consultation paper entitled Consultation on recovery and recycling targets for packaging waste for 2013-2017 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it wants to see a business target of 57 percent of all plastics recycled by 2017, whereas BPF has called for a more gradual rise over the next half-decade to around the mid-30 percent mark.

Responding to the Defra document, BPF said the proposed regime would add $111 million in direct costs onto plastics packaging producers and handlers over five years.

The trade body said this was “in effect a direct and unfair tax on the packaging sector to support an unachievable target” and accused the government of using “excessive growth figures for plastics packaging which have been widely ridiculed within the industry.”

Bruce Margetts, chair of the BPF’s Packaging Group, said while there was support for retaining maximum value in any packaging after it had done its job, “[the government’s] target is unrealistic in its timescale and rate of increase.

“It appears to be a straightforward tax on producers rather than a realistic road-map for infrastructure and quality improvement. Production and filling of packaging could be lost from the UK,” he added.