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UK waste infrastructure is "disgraceful"

UK waste infrastructure was described as disgraceful by Packaging Federation chief executive Dick Searle speaking at the Total Packaging exhibition at the NEC, Birmingham in May.

Searl said that there was more packaging per head in France and Germany than in the UK but it was not an issue because they have recycling systems that work.

He added: In the UK, there is a huge difference between what is required and what is actually possible, because of the disgraceful waste infrastructure here.

His view had not changed greatly following the publication of the new Waste Strategy 2007 last Thursday.

He wanted to know why the Waste Strategy was over focussed on packaging when it represents only 3% of landfill.

Searle said: Because recycling targets are based on weight, councils focus on garden waste as opposed to collecting aluminium cans which makes more environmental sense. The Waste Directive should have put in place adequate recycling facilities.

The Government has talked about increasing recycling targets. How do they expect that to happen without adequate collection facilities?

Recycling rates are being adversely affected by the lack of adequate collection services.

Searle added that packagings negative image was due to a poor appreciation of the variety of different roles that packaging performs, for example protection during transport and the gift experience.

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