New packaging waste targets have been announced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Welsh Assembly Government, and the Scottish Executive.
The targets, set until 2010, will ensure that businesses recycle and recover increasing amounts of paper, glass, aluminium, steel, plastic, and wood packaging waste over the next five years.
Local environment minister Ben Bradshaw said that since the packaging waste regulations had been introduced in 1997, the amount of recycled packaging waste had doubled.
He said: “We want to ensure that packaging waste recycling and recovery keeps on its current upward trend.”
Defra also confirmed several changes to regulations, including a new obligation on franchisors, licensors and pub operating businesses. However these changes are still subject to parliamentary approval.
Local environmental quality minister Ben Bradshaw said the measures would ensure the UK could meet its European obligations by 2008. He explained that by bringing in more businesses the burden on individual businesses would be lower than they may otherwise be, and costs would be shared more equitably.
In light of Defra’s consultation earlier in the year, the conditional approval fee has been amended, and compliance schemes will no longer have to re-apply annually for approval from ministers. Compliance schemes and large individually registered producers that handle more than 500 tonnes of packaging a year will have to send their operational plans to Defra or the Scottish Executive by January 31, as well as the relevant agency. Businesses will have to use a specific template to provide some of the information, but they will not be required to do this for 2006.