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

Automakers look under the hood for the next lightweighting opportunities

August 20, 2014 1:06 pm ET

The automotive industry's current favorite target for lightweighting efforts is the powertrain, according to a recent survey.    More

Image

Small country introducing plastic coins

August 20, 2014 10:48 am ET

You've heard of countries adopting plastic currency, to replace paper money. How about plastic coins, to replace metal? It's hard to believe but true....    More

Image

GameDay Challenge expands the competition to the recycling bin

August 20, 2014 10:23 am ET

GameDay Recycling Challenge is returning this year as college football stadiums will compete to see which school produces the least amount of waste...    More

Image

Pactiv selling building products unit to Ireland's Kingspan

August 19, 2014 3:54 pm ET

Irish building material manufacturer Kingspan Group plc is acquiring the insulation business of Lake Forest, Ill.-based Pactiv Building Products for...    More

Image

Flexible film waste-to-oil pilot project continuing in California

August 19, 2014 3:19 pm ET

A recent decision to discontinue operations at a plastics waste-to-oil site in Portland, Ore., is not impacting a pilot program aimed at hard-to-recyc...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

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

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

More Events