Defra Consultation on Recycling Targets for Packaging for 2008 and Beyond

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December 2007

Defra Consultation on Recycling Targets for Packaging for 2008 and Beyond

FDF has made a submission to Defra in response to Defra, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly Government consultation to review existing packaging recycling targets for 2008-10 and to propose new targets for 2011-12.

The EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive sets minimum recycling and recovery targets that the UK must meet by 31 December 2008. The UK, along with other member states, must also seek to maintain these levels to at least 60% over subsequent years. The Commission itself is unlikely to propose changes to the Directive targets before 2014.

In UK, the Packaging Directive is implemented through the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007. These Regulations incorporate business targets that reflect estimates of the amount of packaging entering the UK waste stream compared to the levels of 'obligated tonnage' in order that the UK meets the Directive targets.

Based on the assessment of the latest trends in pack flow and obligated tonnage data, and assuming these continue, the UK would fail to meet the Directive targets in glass, metals, plastics and overall recovery in 2008. The UK would also fail to meet the Directive targets for some of these materials in 2009-10. To leave things as they are would therefore run the risk that infraction proceedings are taken against the UK and possible financial penalties.

Defra therefore proposes to increase the business targets already set for 2008-10, as well as propose new targets for 2011-12 to maintain the momentum. This is also in line with the Waste Strategy's goals of meeting and exceeding the diversion targets the UK has to meet under the Landfill Directive. Furthermore in the past industry has requested 5-year targets to allow for long-term planning and investment decisions to be made.

Whilst the FDF response supports the Government's proposed options for increasing the targets it highlights a remaining significant amount of free-riding non compliance which needs to be investigated and tackled.

More Information

FDF Response to the Defra Consultation on Recycling Targets for Packaging for 2008 and Beyond (pdf, 83.5kb)

Last reviewed: 06 Dec 2011