Post date: Thursday, 29th November 2012

Packaging waste targets to increase in 2013

Landfill site

The new recycling targets for waste will mean less packaging waste going to landfill.

Higher recycling targets for plastics, aluminium and steel packaging will be set for January 2013, following an agreement in Parliament to amend packaging waste regulations.

The regulations will replace existing packaging recycling legislation, which expires at the end of this year, and set recycling and recovery targets through to 2017.

The Draft Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 will increase the target for plastic recycling from 32% in 2012 to 57% by 2017.

Aluminium's target will increase to 55% in 2017 from 40% in 2012, while that for steel will rise from 71% to 76% by 2017.

Glass will have a split target: 63% must come from remelt in 2013, rising to 64% by 2017, with the rest being used in aggregates, to give an overall 81% target.

Targets for wood and paper/card will remain at 22% and 69.5% respectively.

The regulations are designed to meet and exceed the minimum 60% recovery target set by the European Union Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive 2009.

The UK achieved a 67.3% recovery and recycling rate in 2010; by 2017 this must reach 72.7%.

Environment minister Richard Benyon told the Second Delegated Legislation Committee he estimates that the entire package of targets "will bring a net benefit of £181 million to the UK economy over the period 2013 to 2017.

“Most of the anticipated benefits, over 95%, will come from revenue generated from recycled materials," he said.

The target goes beyond the EU minimum. Benyon said the decsion to do so was "not taken lightly, and we have only done so because our cost-benefit analysis demonstrates that higher targets will deliver clear and significant net environmental and economic benefits to the UK."

Last December, a public consultation found the majority of respondents supported it going further than the EU minimum.

"When deciding the level to set the targets, we took into account the current recycling rate, the infrastructure available for collecting, sorting and reprocessing the waste packaging plus any developments in this infrastructure and available analysis of the costs and benefits of recycling,” Benyon said.

The full range of targets is:








Glass 81 81 81 81 81 81
Aluminium 40 43 46 49 52 55
Steel 71 72 73 74 75 76
Paper/Board 69.5 69.5 69.5 69.5 69.5 69.5
Plastic 32 37 42 47 52 57
Wood 22 22 22 22 22 22

Story: David Thorpe, News Editor

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