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Green charity urges retailers to reduce packaging waste

A green charity has called for all food packaging to be made recyclable or compostable by 2013. Manufacturers, retailers, local authorities and waste companies will be challenged by Green Alliance to put in place measures necessary for all food packaging to be recyclable or compostable by 2013. Green Alliance director Stephen Hale said: Consumers want to be greener but need help to reduce their waste and carbon footprint. Yet 18% of household waste in the UK is food waste and a further 20% is packaging. Landfill is no longer an option. Manufacturer, retailers, local authorities and waste companies can, and must, do more to help householders do the right thing. Green Alliances 2013 target comes after discussions with retailers. It called for retailers to simplify the range of packaging materials used for food. Speaking to MRW Green Alliance associate Julie Hill said: The aim is not to restrict choice or go backwards but for retailers to show innovation so that they go to their suppliers and ask them to make food packaging that is resource efficient and recyclable. The announcement comes after retailers have recently made plans for a new industry-wide recycling logo. The logo will show if packaging is widely recycled, locally done or not recycled by local authorities. ASDA was one of the retailers that worked together with other retailers to plan this new recycling logo. However, ASDA say that customers face a packaging postcode lottery because of inconsistent local authority recycling collection strategies, especially in relation to mixed plastics Packaging buyer Shane Monkman said: Our customers are increasingly thwarted and frustrated in their attempts to recycle even more of our packaging by regional variation in the materials that local authorities collect. If as a nation we could just get after the two major non-bottle plastics, PET and polypropylene then we would see the recyclability of ASDA packaging rise from 75% to 92% and the average supermarket rate rise to 87%. However, these materials are seemingly victims of their own success in weight efficiency and do not attract local authority collections.

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