There has been support from much of the recycling industry for the higher packaging targets announced in the Budget yesterday.
Chancellor George Osborne confirmed that the Government will legislate in 2012 for increase statutory packaging recycling targets from 2013 to 2017. Targets will increase annually by 3 per cent for aluminium, 5 per cent of plastic and 1 per cent for steel. Glass recycling will be split by end use.
Resource Association chief executive Ray Georgeson said: “We applaud the Government for the positive signal sent from sticking to their plan for higher packaging recycling targets, including the split target for glass.
“While this will undoubtedly send a good market signal that should encourage further investment in UK reprocessing, we remain concerned that the continued existence of the anomaly on the issue of PERNs maintains the in-built disadvantage to UK plastics reprocessors.
“A reduction in the PERN value for exported mixed plastics to 60 per cent of the weight of mixed plastics exported would have been a welcome boost for UK reprocessors. Without this, the new targets feel like a leg-up, but still with one hand tied behind our backs.”
ECO Plastics managing director Jonathan Short said: “The Government should be commended for sticking to its guns and introducing escalating mandatory recycling targets. They will deliver a range of economic and environmental benefits and will underpin investment in crucial processing infrastructure.
“However, it is essential that targets are accompanied by other changes. The cost of compliance will increase, which is long overdue but we also need to ensure the PRN system no longer favours the exporter at the expense of the domestic reprocessor. We also need to see an improvement in the enforcement of trans-frontier waste shipments and introduce an effective consumer messaging campaign.
“Without these measures the targets will simply be a case of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, encouraging the loss and export of valuable resource and with it, green jobs.”
Landfill tax was also confirmed to rise by £8 per tonne to £72 in the Budget.
While it also revealed that energy used in certain metal recycling processes will be liable to a reduced rate of 20 per cent of the main Climate Change Levy rates from 1 April 2012.