Anna McMorrin, Labour MP for Cardiff North, will introduce a Ten Minute Rule Bill to Parliament tomorrow aimed at convincing government to force producers to take responsibility for the packaging they produce.
Commonly referred to as the ‘polluter pays’ principle, she said this approach was central to making recycling and waste management more cost effective. Speaking to The House, Parliament’s magazine, she said that it would also help the UK to take a leading role in the protection of wildlife and oceans.
‘Currently, UK businesses are required by law to pay for recycling through compliance schemes. The more packaging they produce, the more they pay. However, the cost to business is low meaning there is no incentive for businesses to change.
‘Under the “polluter pays” principle a 50% penalty could be added for packaging that is not easily separated and is considerably disruptive to the recycling stream, such as coffee cups and black plastic packaging. Or conversely, a reduction in the levy could be given to producers who reduce the packaging weight of their product, or make it easier to recycle.
‘Without this producer responsibility enshrined into law, the cost of this recycling falls to councils that are already struggling to pay for vital services such as social care and housing, while also being asked to pick up the tab for recycling and waste management,’ she said.