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Wastepack proposes new approach to boost household packaging recycling

Compliance scheme Wastepack has put forward a proposal aimed at closing the gap in packaging recycling performance by targeting the domestic waste stream.

It wants the Government to formally define the tonnage gaps that can only be met from domestic waste recycling initiatives, and wants each compliance scheme and individual complier to put in place programmes to meet their proportionate share of this gap.

This would involve contracting with local authorities to obtain a newly created Packaging Waste Collection Note (PCN) — which would fund local authority recycling initiatives. It would effectively be a future Packaging Waste Recovery Note (PRN) — as it would provide investment for household packaging waste collections and help retrieve more material from this waste stream.

Compliers and compliance schemes with PCNs would then have first refusal for getting the associated PRNs generated by collections they had invested in.

And Wastepack has suggested that compliance schemes unable to obtain enough PRNs to meet their obligations be allowed to comply by buying spot PCNs rather than paying proposed fines — so that money generated supports local authority recycling initiatives.

Wastepack chief executive Barry Van Danzig said: “Our proposals would ensure that the household packaging waste recycling gap is specifically defined and then dealt with through an integrated national approach. We believe this overall approach would be both fair and effective.”

Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) chairman Lee Marshall said: “The proposals are a positive start and an innovative way of funding packaging collections from household schemes. Local authorities haven’t been able to clearly see the benefits of PRNs and PCNs would make these more explicit. But the devil is in the detail.”

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