From: Packaging News
Major players in the packaging supply chain have backed the aims of the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy but want more clarity.
Defra announced a series of proposals earlier this week, with a commitment to reforming producer responsibility, implementing a deposit return scheme and simplifying recycling.
The British Plastics Federation (BPF) said that it welcomed the “system-wide approach” and added that “working together will make the difference”.
In a statement, the BPF said: “It is extremely promising to see the government looking to address the confusion faced by consumers regarding what they can recycle, and its commitment to make collections consistent across the UK. Such pivotal steps will help improve both the quantity and quality of material that we recycle as a country.
“We are also pleased to see that measures in the strategy, such as expanding extended producer responsibility obligations, should help to boost all recycling rates by including other materials alongside plastics, which will help to tackle the broader spectrum of waste.”
Corrugated packaging giant DS Smith also supported the strategy but wanted the government to go further on mandatory recycling policies. It also wanted clarity on new investment in infrastructure.
Jochen Behr, head of recycling at DS Smith, said: “A year on from Blue Planet Two, it is disappointing that we continue to produce household waste faster than we can recycle it. 2018 has been a turbulent year for recycling as now, for the first time, we are set to incinerate more than we recycle.
“Stagnating recycling rates demand a bold new approach, so we welcome the strategy’s commitment to overhaul our waste system and take steps towards building a circular economy. However, the public remains confused by the UK’s 150 or more different household waste collection methods.”
Compostable packaging specialist Vegware said that the strategy was “much needed” and contained an “ambitious set of policy goals”.
In a statement, Vegware said: “It’s great the government plans to mandate food waste collections for householders and many businesses – this should bring England up to speed with the rest of the UK. The waste hierarchy acknowledges that composting counts as recycling, and that anaerobic digestion is classed one step lower as ‘other recovery’.
“The UK’s in-vessel composting sector should be supported and developed as a practical solution to treat UK wastes, including certified compostable packaging. We welcome closer cooperation between anaerobic digestion and composting sectors, and see huge potential for composting as a practical solution for digestate and depackager run-off.”