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WRAP's Ward has concerns over targets

New European Union targets were described as "challenging" by Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) director of local government services Phillip Ward.

He said that a 50% average recycling rate for paper, metal, plastic and glass would require "very high participation rates and commitment from individual households."

But he also warned that this would not be easy:

"This will be hard to achieve frankly and will require a huge change in mindset. There are lots of barriers we are already hitting and these will need to be overcome.

"People are saying they don't like the confusion of different collection systems, different materials collections and containers used in different areas. We have to face up to the fact that we will need standardised collections.

"We will also need to debunk myths such as envelopes with windows can only be recycled once the windows have been torn out.

"People also feel they are doing a lot of work now to recycle and they want to be thanked for doing it."

He also pointed out at the East Meets Waste conference in Cambridge that the revisions to the Waste Framework Directive appeared to mandate garden waste collections, but he suggested that these did not need to be free and probably should not be in order to discourage people that can home compost from using garden waste collections.

Additionally, he said that the directive did not only apply to the domestic waste stream and that the UK will need to choose between eco-design, producer responsibility and economic instruments to encourage better commercial and industrial recycling.

However, this would also require improving the current "rotten data" that the UK currently has on commercial and industrial waste, he said.

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