LONDON — Concerns over the amount work needed to be done to hit the United Kingdom's plastics recycling targets might have been eased after the initial findings of a report on packaging recycling obligations suggested the industry was doing “better than expected.”
According to reports a study commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and undertaken by the non-profit Waste & Resources Action Programme (Wrap) and environmental packaging specialist Valpak Ltd. painted a picture of more progress being made in terms of hitting targets than that previously estimated by government.
The initial findings, aired at a meeting of Wrap's Plastics Markets Group yesterday, suggested that the initial flow of plastics in 2013 was 2.3 million metric tons, vs. the 2.5 million metric tons — a figure based on volumes of packaging placed on the market eight years ago — Defra reckoned had been placed on the market, the letsrecycle website reported.
Claire Shrewsbury, Wrap's program area manager, said her organization had been working with Valpak “to review the existing estimates of market flows and recycling levels for plastic packaging in the U.K.
“This work aims to improve market transparency and information on plastic recycling in the U.K. by working collectively with industry.
“We aim to finalize and publish the report as soon as we can. Any impact these draft findings have is something for Defra to consider together with the devolved administrations.”
Bob Lisney, who heads the Advisory Committee on Packaging, told the site: “I am very pleased that all the parties have worked together so well on this project and congratulate the project team on the thoroughness of their work.”
Lisney said the good news was that the data suggest the U.K. was “actually doing better than expected” in this area.
In a statement the British Plastics Federation, which was represented at the Wrap get-together, said: “As far as we understand, this is still work in progress.
“We are collaborating with Wrap to arrive at the most accurate figure but this is a very grey area, poorly covered by official statistics and it is particularly difficult to evaluate how much filled packaging is imported and exported.”