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Alupro challenges Defra packaging targets

Cans in inicnerator bottom ash

The Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) has criticised packaging recycling targets proposed by Defra for being unambitious.

Defra is consulting until 6 January on targets for paper, wood, aluminium and steel for 2018-20 and has published three options, each of which indicates varying degrees of ambition.

Option 1 proposes no increase in targets from the current 2017 targets through to 2020.

Option 2 includes the greatest rise, based on keeping the UK on track to achieve the circular economy package recycling targets for 2025 of 65% overall. Aluminium’s targets for the three years would be 57%, 59% and 61%.

Option 3 suggests lower increases for all materials, apart from aluminium, which Defra says are “optimal” based on its cost-benefit analysis.

But Alupro says the targets are too low and warned that improvements in aluminium recycling could be undermined.

Before publication of the consultation, Alupro proposed to Defra that the 2017 target for aluminium packaging be increased, and urged that future targets remain high to ensure the producer responsibility system remained attractive to reprocessors and exporters.

Targets that are easily achievable will result in lower packaging recovery note (PRN) prices, it said, making accreditation to the system less attractive.

It said the inclusion of aluminium from incinerator bottom ash (pictured) in packaging recycling figures has also meant the basis has changed on which previous aluminium targets were created.

In a statement, Alupro said: “Setting targets based on outdated market information makes no sense. For other materials, changes in the market information has led to revised targets. Alupro argues that the aluminium data is robust and accurate, and should be used to shape future recycling targets.

“Alupro will therefore be supporting higher targets, but urges the Government to ensure that future targets are stretching but realistic, and are regularly reviewed so that the efforts of the sector has taken to engage reprocessors in the system and ensure recycling performance data is robust are not undermined.”

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