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Minister targets plastic bottles

Waste minister Lord Taylor has outlined plans to boost plastic bottle recycling which could see producers sign up to a new responsibility deal.

Defra has convened a high-level committee including members from charity Recoup, the Advisory Committee on Packaging, and the wider industry to thrash out ideas to drive up bottle recycling.

The move follows ministers announcing in the Budget a new plastics recycling target of 42% by 2017.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach

Lord Taylor, right, said a responsibility deal could help raise awareness amongst households and businesses on the simple steps they can take to help increase plastic bottle recycling.

“We’ve set ourselves an ambitious target to increase plastic recycling to stop the shameful dumping of reusable plastic into landfill sites,” he said. “One area where I want to see quick progress is plastic bottles.

“Over half a million tonnes of plastic is used each year to provide us with bottles for drinks, shampoos and kitchen cleaners, yet half of this stuff ends up at the dump.

“The vast majority of these bottles could easily be recycled and this shocking waste is costing the economy millions of pounds. I want to see a major push to end this sorry state.”

The responsibility deal could use similar models that have worked for other materials as examples of what can be done – such as the ‘Metal Matters’ campaign which increased recycling of drinks cans by 21% through leafleting households in a selection of council areas.

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