UK packaging group warns of impact of China waste ban

Hamish Champ

Published: October 8, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Packaging, Film & Sheet, Recycling

LONDON (Oct. 8, 12:40 p.m. ET) — Plans by the Chinese government to restrict plastic waste imports from the European Union (EU) would render the United Kingdom’s recycling target figure of 57 percent by 2017 unachievable, warned the head of the Packaging and Films Association (Pafa).

Barry Turner, Pafa’s chief executive, said measures being discussed by a number of Chinese government ministries would see a ban on both the importing of unwashed post-consumer waste and the sale of unwashed plastic waste left over from the sorting of imported plastic and paper.

If implemented and effectively enforced — which has not always been the case in China — the measures would place a huge burden on the UK waste sector, Turner said; one it could not deal with, given the current infrastructure.

“As an industry we are committed to recycling,” Turner told PRW. “However we have said that it would take a decade to achieve a figure of 45 percent, while the government wants us to hit 57 percent in half that time.”

To meet the government’s target would require considerable investment in both sorting and processing facilities, Turner said.

“The target will require a further 600,000 metric tons of material [to be dealt with] while we currently have capacity for 250,000 metric tons. We have been saying for some time that we believe the assumptions being made by civil servants advising government have been wrong,” he added.

Of the UK’s 433 local councils only two were “anywhere close” to achieving the 57 percent target, said Turner, “which immediately says there is a problem with the system.”

Pafa and the government’s own advisory committee had warned the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) a number of times that the targets were unachievable, Turner said.

“We are now witnessing previously unforeseen moves in the Far East which will make them even more unattainable. There is no joined-up thinking on waste and recycling targets and it is clear that the burden of cost and responsibility is being forced on U.K. manufacturers and retailers at a time they can least afford it,” he said.

Turner said was due to have meetings with the new environment minister, Lord de Mauley, which he hoped would prove more fruitful than the industry’s recent dealings with the department.


Comments

UK packaging group warns of impact of China waste ban

Hamish Champ

Published: October 8, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Profit dips at Bemis Co. Inc.

January 29, 2015 2:04 pm ET

Profit dipped for Bemis Co. Inc. for all of 2014, but were up during the fourth quarter in what the company's leader called a “pivotal year....    More

Image

Plastics News Now: Losing weight with style, plastics in the Dragons' Den

January 29, 2015 6:00 am ET

A 19-year-old entrepreneur brings business to a U.K. injection molder after winning support on TV's Dragons' Den, auto suppliers combine...    More

Image

African equity fund invests in Kenya's General Plastics

January 28, 2015 4:24 pm ET

An African investment fund specializing in agriculture has invested in Kenyan packaging firm General Plastics Ltd. to provide funds to expand in the...    More

M&A deals in packaging hit record

January 28, 2015 1:49 pm ET

It's good to be in packaging these days. More precisely, it's good to be in packaging and decide to sell or merge.    More

Image

FPI joins curbside recycling group

January 28, 2015 11:47 am ET

Foodservice Packaging Institute is joining the board of the Curbside Value Partnership, a non-profit group that works to improve curbside recycling in...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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