Advisory Committee on Packaging recommends councils should become statutory market suppliers


Local authorities should be given a statutory role to supply materials to the market, according to the Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP).

The report on the committee’s work over the past year suggests that councils should be given this responsibility to “engage more with the income streams available due to the market value from the sale of materials”.


It adds this would also have the impact of engaging industry more directly with the systems and services needed to meet the higher targets.

In his foreword to the report, ACP chairman Bob Lisney wrote: “What emerged during our work was the importance of the supply chain working together and a focus on making the value in materials the prime economic driver.

“In a recovery system which is fragmented at the point of collection in the domestic sector by public sector statutory roles it is easy to see that this creates a challenge in a market driven system.

“Thus one of our recommendations is to suggest that local councils be given a statutory role to play a role of supplier of materials to the market as well as its role to provide general services for waste and recycling.”

The report also looks at the collection of plastics and notes it is “a challenge because of the range of products used”. It has looked at three core areas, which are bottles, rigid containers and films.

As a result, the report has provided a route map for bottles and rigids and recommends that more work is undertaken by an industry-led films group, so that the ACP can be informed of the optimum routes for this material and the practicalities of collection.

This includes better communication strategies to inform the public on how best to recycle plastics.

It also suggests reform to the PRN/PERN system to create a level playing field for the former, while also raising the financial threshold above which companies have to register for compliance to £4 million from the current £2 million while keeping the 50 tonnes level in place.