A new paper from the British Plastics Federation (BPF) has proposed that there should be more incentives for the use of recycled plastics in manufacturing.
The BPF proposes the principal of ‘offset’ against obligation under the concept of producer responsibility in the waste sector.
It wants to see the main producers and manufacturers, packer/fillers, and retailers be able to offset their PRN obligation by using and specifying recycled polymers. In this way, recycled polymers would not carry an obligation under the EU Packaging Directive.
With the BPF concerned about meeting the “challenging” 2017 recycling targets for plastics. This equates to a 42 per cent recycling rate for plastic packaging.
It says that despite the success of recycling certain waste streams such as plastic bottles, packaging targets have been achieved largely to date by the export of plastic waste.
There is uncertainty about the issue of exports due to the Chinese green fence, it says, particularly for low quality material. While the PRN/PERN system creates no incentive to remove contamination prior to export, giving exports an advantage over UK reprocessing.
BPF recycling group chairman Roger Baynham said: “We believe that the proposals contained in this paper will provide the much needed traction to develop end markets for recycled plastics, which are so crucial given the uncertainties of the global waste markets and, in doing so, help deliver the UK Government’s business development, wealth creation and sustainability agendas.”