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Packaging targets for next two years show roll-over of 2010 figures

Packaging targets for the next two years will roll-over from the 2010 levels, with only plastic and steel needing to hit a slight increase of 3% and 2% respectively.

Announced by Defra, the finalised packaging targets for 2011 and 2012 show a slight decrease in the proposals set in the consultation earlier this year.

Targets for overall packaging recovery for businesses will be 74% across both 2011 and 2012. This differs from the consultation, which initially proposed a 75% obligated recovery target for 2011 and a 76% target for 2012.

The long-awaited targets only show the obligated targets for businesses over the next two years due to the new Government taking power. Targets beyond 2012 are to be set following the Government’s Waste Review, which will be published in Spring 2011.

The targets for each material for obligated businesses are:

Total recycling 68.168.1
Overall recovery747474

As part of a the previous Government’s plans to recycle more than 70% of the overall packaging waste in the UK by 2020, the March the consultation proposed business targets of:

Total recycling6969.9
Overall recovery7576

The targets are designed to  ensure that the UK continues to meet EU Directive targets.

The target for plastic for 2011 has risen to 32% from the initial consultation proposal of 30% by 2011, however, the 2012 target has been kept level at 32% instead of rising to 35%. Some responses to the consultation from plastic reprocessors revealed they felt the proposed target was too high, although larger plastic recyclers and trade bodies had agreed with the proposals.  Figures released by the Environment Agency, which were below expectations, indicated a reduction in obligated tonnage of 0.6% from 2009 to 2010, so Defra decided to revise growth forecasts down to 1.5%, and therefore overall targets.

Wood has also seen a big drop from the proposed target, initially set at 28% by 2011 and 34% by 2012, to targets of 22% for 2011 and 2012. According to Defra, obligated tonnage dropped by 11% from 2009 to 2010, following a 12% drop from 2008 to 2009 due to a drop in demand and better re-use.

Paper and board, glass, and aluminium targets for 2011 and 2012 are to stay at the level set in the consultation, under the proposal to hit a 70% UK packaging recycling target by 2020.

Improvements in the way funding are reported and some technical changes to improve the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 will be introduced, subject to Parliamentary approval. This includes two deregulatory changes:  one to remove the requirement for independent audit and one allowing smaller businesses to use a more simple mechanism to calculate their legal obligation. These changes are expected to save industry an estimated £285,000-£371,000 annually.

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