Budget 2012: Disappointment for plastics industry

March 22, 2012 3 Comments » Print Print

The Government’s decision to increase plastic recycling targets is a blow to the plastics industry in the UK, according to the British Plastics Federation

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Photo of mixed plastics bale In yesterday’s budget, the Government confirmed that it will increase plastic packaging recycling by 5% a year to reach a business target of 57% in 2017.

In a statement, the BPF said the recycling targets were a blow to the plastic industry.


The BPF added: “We are extremely disappointed that the Government has chosen to ignore our advice. We believe that whilst recycling is a priority we should not forget the implementation of other waste management techniques such as energy from waste. It is not just the industry that is saying this but also the consumer.

“A YouGov Survey conducted in March 2012 elicited strong support for a high level of plastics packaging recovery in its broadest sense. 74% respondents agreed with the proposition that plastics should not be buried in landfill and only 4% disagreed.

“This corresponds very closely with the objectives of Plastics 2020 which is seeking to divert all plastics packaging from landfill by 2020 through higher levels of recycling and energy from waste.

“It is all very well to have an extremely ambitious recycling target but the infrastructure needs to be in place to deliver this.”

‘More support’

Steve Lee, chief executive of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), has also expressed disappointment at the Budget.

He said: “This is not the pro-green economy budget for which we might have hoped. While CIWM welcomes confirmation that packaging targets will increase between 2013 and 2017 we would like to see more support for UK-based recycling and reprocessing capacity.

“Despite the Chancellor’s broad commitment to developing the right infrastructure for the future, it is also disappointing that measures to increase investor confidence in the waste sector, including a longer term plan for landfill tax and more detail on the remit and lending criteria of the Green Investment Bank, were not forthcoming.”

BPF director general Peter Davis said:  “We fully support an increase in the plastic packaging recycling target but the Government’s target is unrealistic and unachievable and the costs will drive packaging production and filling to other countries.”