Thursday, 23 January 2014

Report Claims UK Recycles More Plastics Than Official Figures Suggest

A report that was commissioned by the British Plastics Federation's (BPF) Recycling Group has suggested that the amount of plastics packaging that government figures claim enters the market every year are majorly overstated by 300,000 to 400,000 tonnes.

Compiled in response to a request for corroboration of recycling rates that came from the Advisory Committee on Packaging, the report analysed the National packaging Waste Database and came up with a total figure of 2.5 million for the amount of plastics packaging placed on the market at present. Although the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) estimates a growth rate of 2.5% for this kind of packaging, the BPF Recycling Group says this is an overstatement, with NPWD data showing almost no growth in the period 2006 to 2012, after which a decline followed.

What this means is that reports about plastics recycling in the UK that have been sent to the European Union have been understated and have led to setting business targets based on mistaken information, which could have increased costs. What's more, with the European Union planning to increase the recycling targets for member states in the next couple of years, UK businesses could be put in a disadvantaged position compared to other member states. The chairman of BPF's Recycling Group commented that giving businesses an accurate baseline, according to which recycling targets are calculated, is essential in order to avoid distorted compliance costs for enterprises.

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