The Recycling Group at the British Plastics Federation has proposed that the producer responsibility system governing packaging recycling should be increasingly weighted in favour of UK recycling.
It has published a document, Proposal to Amend the PRN/PERN System for Plastics, that it says shows how the implementation of the packaging regulations has created a focus on quantity rather than quality, which has resulted in the UK becoming increasingly dependent on export markets for its plastics waste.
The BPF argues that the disadvantages faced by UK recyclers mean that the Government’s goal of increased resource efficiency is being undermined, but it is also preventing job opportunities and wealth generation potential.
BPF Recycling Group chairman Roger Baynham said: “Our aim is to help create a quality driven waste infrastructure which would place the plastics recycling sector in the vanguard of the UK’s emerging low carbon manufacturing revolution and in so doing future proof markets for plastic waste.”
The group is proposing to the Government, that the producer responsibility system should be modified through the creation of separate targets for post-consumer plastics that are converted into products through UK reprocessing and exports of unprocessed waste.
Obligated businesses, through their compliance scheme, would be required to obtain a steadily increasing percentage of their evidence from UK reprocessed tonnage.
It is proposing a roadmap with an equal 50:50 split between the two routes in 2013 progressing to a 70 per cent target for UK reprocessed tonnage and 30 per cent unprocessed export tonnage by 2017.