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MPs urged to view packaging in perspective

The corrugated packaging industry has called on MPs to step away from the “hysteria” associated with packaging waste and see the bigger picture.

At a recent House of Commons meeting, the Confederation of Paper Industries warned MPs that the amount of attention given to packaging was “overblown” and “far exceeded its environmental significance”. It put forward that the corrugated sector had a good story to tell in terms of recycling rates and recycled content.

CPI corrugated sector manager Andrew Barnetson told MRW: “We are just saying ‘let’s get everything in perspective’. There’s lots of hysteria with packaging and we are trying to step away from that.”

At the meeting, CPI corrugated sector chairman Clive Bowers called on MPs to re-focus their attentions to food waste, which has an environmental impact 10 times greater than packaging, and also to focus on ensuring the quality of recycled materials, which is vital for the industry.

The CPI is concerned that the localism agenda may go too far and Barnetson said Government needs to set out national guidelines for recycling. “There is a role for localism but with recycling the Government needs to take the lead saying why we need a certain quality and the broad steps authorities should follow,” he said.

He added that the corrugated sector was concerned that more councils would shift to commingled collections and that this would have negative consequences on recovered paper quality.

Barnetson called on local authorities to look at getting better value from their materials by ensuring they are of higher quality, so achieving a better price.

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