The chief executive of trade association INCPEN has criticised the Local Government Association’s (LGA) claim that the packaging industry does not collaborate on issues such as waste and recycling.
An LGA report found that only a third of plastic used by households is recyclable and implied that if the packaging industry isn’t willing to work together to find a solution to this problem, then the Government should step in to help councils.
INCPEN chief executive Paul Vanston said that in terms of this assertion, he has seen regular local government colleagues at many meetings when discussing these issues.
He argued that he has had previous one-on-one discussions with the LGA as well as “substantial engagement” with local government colleagues with knowledge on recycling and waste issues including LARAC, NAWDO and ALCO.
From this he said: “Having said that, and to be fair to the LGA as an organisation, it is more often its members and waste contractors, who have repeatedly got around the table with us to find solutions rather than the LGA itself.”
LGA Environment spokesperson Cllr Judith Blake said that it is time for manufacturers to stop letting a “smorgasbord” of damaging plastic impact the environment.
But Vanston argues that this variety exists in several parts of how the value chain works, including councils’ packaging recycling collections.
He explains that although there are differing recycling collections that the 300+ councils offer, he believes there is a greater consistency of packaging recycling collections across councils than many realise.
However, he stated that if the LGA and local government introduce even more consistency of collections across the country, we can have a consistent recycling collection for packaging. If this happens simultaneously with unambiguous consumer labelling by 2023, then it is a goal worth aiming for.
The INCPEN boss added that wishes to work with LGA on this issue.