Plastic push generates unlikely opposition

Plastic push generates unlikely opposition

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

In the U.K., the plastics industry is criticizing a government mandate to double the amount of plastic collected for recycling in five years. According to the British Plastics Federation, the government plan includes no viable plans on how to achieve this target.

The government has set targets to raise the recycling rate from its current 32 percent to 57 percent by 2017, prompting the British Plastics Federation to issue a statement claiming that this goal is unrealistic without significant investment in the logistics of collection and recycling.

"In answer to recent parliamentary questions, the government continues to say that the onus is on packaging producers to ensure that enough material is collected but in reality it is local councils that control collection," said Barry Turner, CEO of the Packaging and Films Association. "The fact is that, in the absence of resource-based recycling targets, there is no incentive for councils to invest in collection services — even less so when their budgets are already stretched to the limit."

According the federation, the plastics recycling capacity in the country would need to be increased by an additional 512,000 tons per year to meet the target.

"The result of this ill thought out and fragmented approach will be that the companies obligated under these targets will be left to foot the bill for recycling that can't be delivered," said Philip Law, public and industrial affairs director of the British Plastics Federation, in a prepared statement. "This is a no-win for everybody including the Government who will have to explain their failure in the future."

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