More copies of leading titles such as Heat, Country Living and FHM will be recovered after tough new targets were set for recycling magazines.
The agreement between the Periodical Publishers Association (PPA) and the Government will see 50% of magazines recycled by 2007, increasing to 70% by 2013.
Local environment minister Ben Bradshaw said: “I’m delighted. This may well be a voluntary agreement, but it commits the publishing industry to some tough targets and pledges. We are determined that producers of products must increasingly take responsibility for their products when they become waste.”
The association has also agreed to use recycled material in magazine packaging, help raise awareness amongst readers of recycling issues and explore ways to increase the content of recycled paper in the magazines themselves.
Bradshaw added: “Through this agreement the PPA is playing its part in helping to tackle the UK’s waste problem for which they should be applauded. In addition, today’s agreement will make an important contribution in helping the UK meet its national targets for recycling and composting household waste.”
At present, the PPA estimate that some 40% or 270,000 tonnes of magazines are sent for recycling, with the new agreement an extension of work by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on producer responsibility.
Defra already has voluntary producer responsibility agreements with the Newspaper Publishers Association to increase the recycled content of newsprint, and the Direct Marketing Association to increase the recycling of direct mail.