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UK’s Green Alliance recommends new measures to complement recycling targets

PKBR Staff Writer Published 14 June 2018

A new report from Green Alliance has recommended three measures to the UK government to complement recycling targets.

The report revealed that at present, the UK exports two thirds of plastic collected for recycling and only recycles 9% of all plastics domestically.

New analysis found that the government could be developing secondary material markets that support a further two million tonnes of plastic to be recycled in the country.

According to the report, the implementation of proper measures will help provide 71% the raw material required by UK manufacturers of plastic packaging and products.

Green Alliance resources senior policy adviser Libby Peake said: “If the UK wants to lead the world in addressing the global scourge of plastic pollution, that means creating a circular economy at home that allows us to turn discarded plastics back into new products. Just collecting plastic and shipping it abroad doesn’t solve the problem.”

Green Alliance also noted that the recycling targets only pushes material into the waste management system and fails to develop a market for the plastic collected.

In its report, Green Alliance recommended three new measures to complement recycling targets, including mandatory recycled content requirements for all plastic products and packaging, short term support to kickstart the plastic reprocessing market and market stabilisation fund to derisk investment in the market.

The report also recommended new policy to overcome technical barriers, to help provide certainty for investors with reliable market and long term strategy.

Commenting on the report, Kingfisher corporate affairs group director Nick Lakin said: “Recycling policy that focuses on increasing the amount of material collected is important but it still doesn’t encourage reliable secondary markets for the materials once they are collected.

“Kingfisher wants to ensure the sustainable management and efficient use of key resources in our products. As this report shows, the government needs to put policies in place to help businesses like ours access more sustainable materials.”