A new report by Green Alliance has found that the UK Government could be creating secondary material markets that may encourage another two million tonnes of plastic to be recycled.
With the UK currently exporting two thirds of plastic collected for recycling, and only recycling 9% domestically, this could provide 71% of the raw material needed by UK plastic packaging manufactures, the organisation said.
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The report argues that the Government’s focus on recycling targets fails to develop a market for the plastic collected, leading to a waste of valuable resource and pollution problems.
It recommends three new measures to work with the recycling targets:
- Mandatory recycled content requirements for all plastic products and packaging
- Short terms support to begin the plastic reprocessing market
- A market stabilisation fund to de-risk investment in the market.
Green Alliance senior policy adviser Libby Peake said: “If the UK wants to lead the world in addressing the global scourge of plastic pollution, that means creating a circular economy at home that allows us to turn discarded plastics back into new products. Just collecting plastic and shipping it abroad doesn’t solve the problem.”