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Support revealed for EU producer responsibility plans

A survey of Recolight members and industry professionals has found 81% back proposals in the European Commission’s draft circular economy package to extend producer responsibility.

As part of the package launched last week, the Commission said it would “differentiate financial contributions paid by producers in extended producer responsibility schemes on the basis of the end-of-life costs of their products”.

The survey by lighting WEEE compliance scheme Recolight found 71% of its members and other industry professionals agreed WEEE legislation should make producers financially responsible for recycling, rather than consumers.

Around 81% said the producer responsibility principle should be applied to other recycled materials.

Recolight chief executive Nigel Harvey said: “The message is clear. Business users want producers across industries to take financial responsibility for the recycling of their products.

“This finding is particularly significant given the recent Commission proposals to clarify the roles of producer responsibility schemes as a part of the circular economy package.

“Producer responsibility is an important tool in encouraging a more circular economy in which today’s waste products can supply raw materials for tomorrow’s new products.”

The Commission’s proposal has divided industry, however.

British Plastics Federation called for “serious debate” over the draft circular economy policies before being finalised. A statement read: “We also fear that the provision on extended producer responsibility could introduce a new cost for manufacturers.”

Paper recycling firm DS Smith was among those welcoming the move.

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