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Fear over plastics compliance

The chief executive of a leading plastics organisation has warned that there is a "high risk of failure" in meeting future recycling targets.

Recoup chief executive Andrew Simmons, speaking at the organisation's annual general meeting, suggested that the packaging industry may struggle to reach European Union recovery targets of 60% by 2008.

He said: "Plastic requirements for compliance were not met last year (2004). There was a shortfall of 11%, which was 44,000 tonnes.

"This means that there is a high risk of failure. Collection rates are growing, but not fast enough."

He called on local authorities that are not collecting plastic to consider the material for kerbside schemes.

This is because there are plenty of markets for the product both in the UK and globally, there is public demand for recycling of plastic and it is becoming increasingly cost efficient with some local authorities achieving a no-cost service.

But he also said that the plastic industry needed to be aware that local authorities needed help in understanding plastics recycling as they often have priorities, and therefore skills, in other materials that are heavier and therefore help meet council's weight-based targets.

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