John Turner will step down from his seven-year tenure as chairman of the Advisory Committee on Packaging at the end of 2009 to concentrate on other business interests but not in the waste sector.
Speaking to MRW, Turner said the biggest achievement in his time as chairman was helping to ensure the packaging recovery note system worked as planned and meeting the 2008 European packaging targets.
He said: I have very much enjoyed being involved from the beginning with the packaging regulations and like to count myself among the few who conceived the shared approach and the economic instrument known as the PRN. I believe that this system has delivered on its design criteria and that was to enable the UK to meet its packaging targets at least cost to industry.
Recycling of packaging has increased overall from approximately 30 per cent in 1998 to 60 per cent in 2008. The system has now been amply tested under varying conditions and this year under extreme conditions with particular regard to steel.
He said that the UK will just about meet its 2009 packaging targets and scrape through with steel. Throughout the year, industry experts have expressed concern about meeting 2009 steel targets stating it will be very tight.
Before Turner became chairman of the ACP he was chief executive of Valpak. He also worked as a manufacturing and purchasing director at Coca Cola and Schweppes Beverages.
The ACP was established to advise ministers on matters related to achieving UK packaging targets.
Turner said the Governments new Packaging Strategy places emphasis on moving from a weight-based packaging target to a carbon metric one.
He said that the carbon agenda will be complicated and will shine lights in many areas that have not been shone on before.
Turner explained that the Government will be working on a consultation for packaging targets up to 2020 in January 2010.
He added: There will be many developments in the packaging recycling industry over the next 10 years and I am sure that enhanced levels of performance will be achieved by the UK.
He thanked members of the ACP and various sectors of industry and Government who had helped him deal with packaging issues over the seven years. He also wished his successor good luck.
The ACP secretariat is currently interviewing candidates for the position of chair and is likely to announce Turners replacement in January.