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Major producers 'looking to boost recycling capacity in UK'

lrs plant

Soft drinks firm Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS) has signed a deal with compliance firm Ecosurety to ensure more bottles are recycled in the UK in order to develop domestic infrastructure.

Through the contract, Ecosurety will increase packaging recovery notes (PRN) for LRS from UK recyclers rather than through export PRNs.

Ecosurety said this would lead to “tangible investments in visible UK waste infrastructure and education campaigns”.

Ben Luger, Ecosurety marketing communication specialist, said other major packaging producers were looking to follow LRS’s example.

“We’re definitely seeing a shift. We’re talking to a lot of brands of that calibre now who have become very motivated to find out where their compliance evidence is coming from,” he said.

Luger said decisions by big brands used to be “all about price”.

“Now it’s entirely the other way, with Lucozade Ribena asking where their money is being invested,” he added. “For instance, investing in export PRNs could have an influence on ocean plastics, and this has now been noticed.”

Export PRNs have long been criticised for making easier to export material rather than process it in the UK. In 2017, 66% of plastic PRNs came from exporting.

Michelle Norman, external affairs and sustainability director at LRS, said: “Working with Ecosurety provides that peace of mind that we are going the extra mile to recycle our products, but also that our investment inside the waste and recycling industry will be as transparent as possible as the PRN system evolves and improves.”

Ecosurety managing director James Piper said: “By working with brands holistically, we are able to help them maximise change for good, so that they can impose the least impact on the environment, as well as provide vital funds for the waste and recycling industry and therefore help invest in UK recycling over the long term.”

Readers' comments (2)

  • This is an excellent development whereby compliance revenues are being clearly linked to tangible investment in UK plastic recycling infrastructure. This is exactly the kind of collaborative action called for in the UK Plastics Pact and an indication of the UK's increasing determination to take responsibility for the outcomes and stewardship of the plastic wastes it generates.
    Bernard Chase
    Sector Specialist Plastics

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  • Thanks. The term 'recovery' is often used for incineration; high-carbon & wasteful incineration of plastics & other resources, which the UK is committed to conserve, not destroy, under UK Sustainability Objectives. Incineration is NOT recycling

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