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Packaging recovery figures show "good progress" in 2008

The UK has beaten EU targets for waste packaging recovery for 2008 in the best year yet according to the latest Government figures. Data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Environment Agency showed that last year the UK recycled almost two-thirds of all packaging produced in 2008.

The National Packaging Waste Database found that businesses helped recover more than seven million tonnes of packaging waste. And about 6.6 million tonnes of this was recycled, which is equivalent to saving about 8.9 million tonnes of CO2.

Packaging waste progress
Environment Minister Jane Kennedy said:  This is a really significant achievement and shows that we are making good progress on packaging recycling. Businesses which handle packaging have a vital role to play in reducing the amount of waste we're sending to landfill and I'm pleased to see they're doing their bit."

Environment Agency chief executive Paul Leinster said: "The level of carbon saving - equivalent to the amount of CO2 generated by around 1.5 million UK homes each year - shows why it's important for all of us to keep on recycling.

Last year was the best year yet for the amount of packaging waste recycled. Everyone - the public, local authorities and businesses - should be proud of what has been achieved and spurred on to do even more.

*All EU Member States have targets set by the EU for packaging recycling and recovery. The 2008 targets were recycling 55 per cent and recovering 60 per cent of packaging across the year.

UK beats EU packaging targets for specific materials in 2008
* Paper: 79.8 per cent recycled (target 60 per cent)
* Glass: 61.3 per cent recycled (target 60 per cent)
* Metal: 56.9 per cent recycled (target 50 per cent)
* Plastic: 23.7 per cent recycled (target 22.5 per cent)
* Wood: 78.5 per cent recycled (target 15 per cent)

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