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Government proposes targets above EU's for packaging

Higher targets to recover and recycle packaging waste have been proposed in a consultation published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Under the proposals new business targets would come into effect in January 2008 to help the UK meet its EC packaging directive obligations. Tougher targets are proposed for 2009 and beyond. Current EU minimum recycling and recovery targets are 55% and 60% respectively. But the Government wants to increase recycling targets to 55.7% in 2008, 56.8% in 2009 and 58.4% in 2010, and recovery targets to 60.6%, 61.8% and 63.4% in the same years. The proposals have cost benefits of around £1.1million, which is the difference between the estimated costs to producers of £7.7million, and carbon savings estimated at £8.8million. Proposals are also consistent with the Government's 'polluter pays' principal, and the aims of the new Waste Strategy for England, published in May. Environment minister Joan Ruddock said: "Since the introduction of the UK Packaging Regulations packaging recycling has improved significantly, from just 27% in 1997 to over 57% last year. But there is much more to be done. Further cuts in packaging waste are an essential part of reducing our reliance on landfill and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. "The higher targets can also act as a driver to help design out unnecessary packaging in future." The consultation closes on November 30 2007. For more information visit: http://www.defra.gov.uk

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