Industry says UK recycling targets 'unachievable'

Hamish Champ

Published: September 25, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Packaging, Sustainability, Public Policy, Recycling

LONDON (Sept. 25, 12:45 p.m. ET) — The United Kingdom plastics industry has slammed the government over its refusal to move its position on its recycling targets, adding that ministers had no plan on how such targets should be delivered.

In a withering attack the industry said the government had “repeatedly ignored its warnings that its targets – set to rise from 32 percent currently to 57 percent by 2017 – are unachievable unless there is significant investment in the logistics of collection and recycling”.

Speaking on behalf of the Plastics 2020 Challenge, Barry Turner, head of the Packaging and Films Association, said the onus was being put on packaging producers to ensure enough material was collected, when in fact it is local authorities which controlled collections.

“The fact is that, in the absence of resource-based recycling targets, there is no incentive for councils to invest in collection services – even less so when their budgets are already stretched to the limit,” added Turner.

The plastics sector has also pointed to downward revisions by the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs of its estimates on UK recycling capacity “which, together with the difficulties in getting councils to step up their recycling efforts and the absence of material-specific targets on local authorities, make it impossible to achieve the required additional 520,000 metric tons of plastic for recycling needed under the government’s five-year target.”

Philip Law, public & industrial affairs director of the British Plastics Federation, said the government’s “ill thought out and fragmented approach” would see companies obligated to foot the bill for recycling that cannot be delivered.

“This is a no-win for everybody, including the government, who will have to explain their failure in the future,” Law added.

Jan-Erik Johansson of Plastics Europe also condemned the government’s approach. “As a Europe-wide organization, we are surprised at the continually shifting positions from the UK government with the result that our industry can only conclude they are not serious about working with everyone in the recycling chain to achieve effective, consistent and achievable results in this crucial area of sustainability,” he said.


Comments

Industry says UK recycling targets 'unachievable'

Hamish Champ

Published: September 25, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Brown signs California's plastic bag ban into law

September 30, 2014 1:38 pm ET

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) made it official today: plastic bags are banned across the entire state of California.    More

Image

Teens put a cap on watery ketchup

September 30, 2014 1:57 pm ET

Whether you spell it ketchup or catsup, use it on burgers or fries, or prefer Heinz or Hunt's, there is one universal problem for the ages: That...    More

Image

Toyoda Gosei pleads guilty, agrees to $26 million fine for price fixing

September 30, 2014 11:27 am ET

Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd. has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $26 million fine for its alleged role in an international conspiracy to rig bids and fix ...    More

Image

Amcor planning more growth in Asia

September 30, 2014 10:24 am ET

Flexible packaging firm Amcor Ltd. is rapidly expanding its presence in the Asian market. The company's top official in the region said it will soon...    More

Image

Uflex to build large flexible packaging plant in western India

September 30, 2014 10:01 am ET

Flexible packaging company Uflex Ltd. is planning a major new plant in the western Indian state of Gujarat.    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events