Packaging sector writes to Gove calling for world leading use of resources

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Major players in the packaging supply chain have signed a letter that has been sent to Environment Minister Michael Gove urging him to listen to their suggestions about how the UK can become a “world leader in the sustainable use of resources”.  

Key trade associations, big brands and companies are among the signatories. 

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The letter offers their perspective and recommendations on the Government’s four consultations of the Resources and Waste Strategy.  

It welcomes the Government’s consultations on reforming the UK packaging producer responsibility system and consistency in household and business recycling collection, stating that they are “potentially transformative in moving the UK towards world class recycling outcomes”.  

From this, the signatories have said that after examining and assessing the current consultations as a package, it suggests homing in on certain areas within the next stages of the process would be beneficial.  

Demands from the signatories include: 

  • Making a joined-up implementation of extended producer responsibility and consistency across the UK priorities  
  • Creating a not-for-profit body to oversee the EPR system to operate UK-wide and have a co-operative governance model from across the value chain  
  • Examining the retention of competition in the EPR system and how it could deliver efficiency and innovation  
  • Consideration for a principle of ‘pay by results’ that applies to producers and local authorities  
  • The billions of pounds that is put into the system must “deliver substantial performance uplifts and improved infrastructure” 
  • A simplification of packaging labels, by removing the ‘check locally’ guidance to help consumers know what can and can’t be recycled  
  • Consistency in collections to be applied efficaciously to all housing types and settings.  

In terms of the Government’s proposed plastics packaging tax, the signatories have expressed support for the broad behavioural objectives advocated within the HM Treasury consultation on recycled content.  

They strongly support that for this tax, any additional funds raised should be put towards system improvements including infrastructure and innovation, to promote domestic recycling and reprocessing in the UK. 

The letter has been signed by nearly 50 companies, organisations, and trade associations. These include: INCPEN, The Recycling Association, Resource Association, Wood Recyclers Association, British Glass, CPI, RECOUP, Boots, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Co-op Retail and many more.  

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