Design for Environment: does EPR encourage it?

As more and more countries around the world begin to implement varying forms of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), it is worth pausing to consider what the desired outcomes of EPR are. The first, in most cases, is as a tax, or an investment in the recycling industry. This means less waste reaching landfill sites and…

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Recycling Targets and Rates in Europe

In light of the new recycling targets set out in the 2017 Spring Budget, a comparison of recycling in the UK with the rest of Europe feels appropriate. This posts looks at the Recycling targets and rates across Europe and then focusses on two countries. Each country is free to choose how they act upon the…

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Petition for Non-recyclable Packaging Legislation Rejected by UK Government

A cross-party panel of MPs has rejected a petition calling for a ban on all non-recyclable packaging. The petition, which garnered over 83,000 signatures, indicates that 1.5 million tonnes of plastic packaging waste is not recycled each year, instead ending up in landfill or waterways. It also suggests that the UK recycles 64% of all packaging…

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UK Government Publishes Recycling Targets for 2020

As part of the Spring Budget 2017, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has revealed the 2020 recycling targets for all packaging materials. This follows on from the 2016 Spring Budget, in which targets for glass and plastic recycling were announced. These targets are displayed in Table 1  below. No specific targets for 2018 and 2019 have yet…

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Lib Dems call for a Coffee Cup Levy

After the success of the 5p charge for plastic bags in reducing disposable bag usage, the Liberal Democrats have called for a similar levy against disposable coffee cups.  The problem of disposable coffee cups has recently been drawn to public attention through Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s “War on waste”.  Fearnley-Whittingstall has highlighted the extent of coffee cup…

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The Implications of Brexit for Producer Responsibility in the UK

As we are all aware, earlier in the summer the UK had a referendum on whether it should remain a member of the European Union (EU) and voted to leave with a marginal majority of 51.9%. The implications of this will be far reaching politically and economically and this post aims to give a little…

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Packaging Recycling Targets: DEFRA Consults Industry

DEFRA has published a consultation regarding the potential amendment of the plastic and glass packaging recycling business targets for 2016-2020. Those businesses and bodies affected by the Packaging Waste Regulations have been invited to give their responses. A recent market report found that there has been much less plastic packaging placed on the market than…

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A Year of Ups and Downs: A Volatile 2015 for PRNS

In a year that saw plastic and aluminium PRN (Packaging Recovery Notes) prices eclipse £70 per tonne and steel prices approaching if not exceeding £50 per tonne, 2015 could be described as one of the most volatile years in the past decade.  A number of factors affected the UK’s recycling costs in 2015 including: changes…

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