Government launches waste strategy / Plans for consistent recycling collections and increased producer responsibility welcomed by BPF
The UK government's plans to simplify its domestic recycling system and make manufacturers more responsible for dealing with hard-to-recycle products have been welcomed by industry figures. The governmental “Resources and Waste Strategy” was launched in December 2018.

Under the government’s proposals, producers would be expected to take more responsibility for items that can be harder or costly to recycle, including cars, electrical goods and batteries. Householders would see a simplification of what environment minister Michael Gove labelled “the existing complicated recycling system,” with new plans for a consistent, nation-wide approach to recycling. For Gove, the new strategy could strengthen the UK’s position “as a world leader in resource efficiency, leaving our environment in a better state than we inherited it.”
BPF welcomes system-wide approach
The British Plastics Federation (BPF, London / UK; called the government's measures “extremely promising,” in particular those that address consumer confusion over what can be recycled as well as the planned improvement of the UK’s collection system. “We are also pleased to see that measures in the strategy, such as expanding extended producer responsibility (EPR) obligations, should help to boost all recycling rates by including other materials alongside plastics, which will help to tackle the broader spectrum of waste,” it said. “Such pivotal steps will help improve both the quantity and quality of material that we recycle as a country and is something that the BPF has long called for.”

Theresa May’s government, currently locked in a battle with its own members and opposition MPs to sort out a deal to leave the EU acceptable to all sides, said it would introduce a deposit return scheme, subject to consultation, and encourage eco-design in products to make them more recyclable. Gove has meanwhile promised GBP 8m (EUR 9m) to fund eight research projects which will explore new ways of making, using and recycling plastics.

According to a study by UK consultancy Eunomia, a levy should be placed on all virgin packaging to boost demand for recycled materials in the UK – see of 03.12.2018. For UK recycling specialist Axion, changing business models are necessary to boost recyclate quality and market – see of 22.11.2018.
07.01.2019 [241405-0]
Published on 07.01.2019

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