New waste recycling strategy: Ministers are expected to publish a new waste strategy this month which will see supermarkets, retailers and major drinks brands paying tens of millions of pounds more towards recycling their used packaging.
New waste recycling strategy: The Guardian reported (November 11th 2018) that the Government is considering options to improve recycling, stop abuses in the export of plastic packaging and make companies pay more towards collecting and recycling waste. They hinted that the new strategy contains plans to ‘’significantly increase contributions from retailers and producers from an average of about £70m a year to between £500m and £1bn a year’. In 2017 local authorities spent £700m on collecting and sorting recycling.
Recycling Association chief executive Simon Ellin said:
“We wholly welcome this, bring it on. It’s hardly the greatest secret that the Government would use the approach of full-cost responsibility and most producers are present elsewhere in the EU and are used to it. I think local authorities should get a decent slice of this rune as they are the broken link in the chain at present.”
Phil Conran, chairman of the Advisory Committee on Packaging, said: “This is required by the EU circular economy package which the UK is signed up to and it will not be a surprise. The Government is due in December to consult on four options, all of which have debated and are workable, but whether each could be regulated is another question.”
For a new waste strategy system to be implemented, it must consider the EU circular economy package, which the British government has signed up to and which should roll over into UK law after Brexit. The package requires food and drink companies and other retailers to cover the net costs of household recycling collections by local authorities, bringing the UK in line with other European countries.
Defra said in a statement:
“We have made it clear through our 25 Year Environment Plan that we are committed to reforming the current producer responsibility scheme and will be consulting on packing rules later this year.
“While recycling rates have increased significantly, we want to ensure producers take greater responsibility for the environmental impact of their products, starting with packaging.”