The government is to force businesses and manufacturers to pay the full cost of recycling or disposing of their packaging waste.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) mapped out its thinking as part of its new Resource and Waste Strategy. The producers of packaging will now be required to pay the full cost of collecting and recycling. There will also be charges for difficult to recycle packaging.
The costs to retailers and producers could rise to between £500m and £1bn annually. The government has also announced that it will simplify the “existing complicated recycling system” with a plan for a consistent approach across England.
While many of the announcements were expected, there was one surprise as Defra appeared to include “disposable cups” to be collected as part of a deposit return scheme. The proposed scheme is designed to also increase the recycling of single-use containers such as bottles and cans.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “We will cut our reliance on single-use plastics, end confusion over household recycling, tackle the problem of packaging by making polluters pay, and end the economic, environmental and moral scandal that is food waste.”
Plastic packaging – dispelling its ‘Bad Rap’ will require responsible packaging solutions
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