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Defra Consults on New Packaging Targets

Defra has launched a consultation on new packaging recycling targets for paper, wood, aluminium and steel. Three options have been published for the targets up to 2020, and those with an interest have until 6 January 2017 to respond.

The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations require producers of packaging to ensure that a proportion of the packaging they handle is recovered and recycled. The current targets expire in 2017 and so the government is proposing new targets for 2018-20 for overall recovery and recycling, as well new material-specific targets for paper, steel, aluminium and wood.

The 2017 targets currently stand at 55 per cent for aluminium, 76 per cent for steel, 69.5 per cent for paper, 22 per cent for wood and 79 per cent for recovery. The three target options for review are as follows:

Option 1: Keep the targets at the 2017 levels until 2020.

Option 2: This option would see the biggest change, with steep increases for wood and steel. Wood would rise from 38 per cent in 2018, to 43 per cent in 2019 and 48 per cent in 2020; steel would rise from 79 per cent in 2018, to 82 per cent in 2019 and 85 per cent in 2020.

Option 3: This option suggests lower increases for all materials, with paper rising from 70 per cent in 2018, to 71 per cent in 2019 and 72 per cent in 2020. Aluminium, however, would see a steep rise from 58 per cent in 2018, to 61 per cent in 2019, to 64 per cent in 2020.

No preferred option has been indicated by Defra, but the consultation document states that Option 3 would have the greatest net benefit to businesses, as well as the best net social benefit.

Targets for glass and plastic packaging have already been amended and set up to 2020, and were confirmed by the government in the 2016 Budget.

We work with companies that handle packaging, helping them to reduce their impact on the environment and ensuring they comply with current regulations. Our approved packaging compliance scheme can handle your producer responsibility obligations on your behalf, giving you peace of mind and saving you time and money. If you would like to find out more, or for a no-obligation quote, get in touch with our team on 0845 129 7177.

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