Revised recycling targets will cost jobs, warns BPI

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British Polythene Industries (BPI) has told the government that the increased recycling target will hike up costs, damage infrastructure and encourage fraudulent trading in PRNs.

BPI tackled the Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, Michael Fallon MP, during his visit to the company’s Sevenoaks plant where it was officially opening a £2m co-extrusion line.

“We have absolutely no issue with stretching recycling targets,” said BPI Films managing director, Andrew Green. “Indeed, as the largest recycler of polythene film waste in Europe, we actively support stretching recycling targets.

“Our concern with the new targets as now set by Defra is that they are unachievable. Having increased the amount of plastic waste we recycle as a nation by 500,000 tonnes in the last 13 years, these new targets require our industry to increase the volumes of plastic waste we collect and recycle by 600,000 tonnes within the next five years.”

According to Green, to achieve the Government goals the UK will need to become the biggest recycler of plastic bottles, pots, tubs, trays and plastic film in the EU. “The consequences of failing to hit these unrealistic targets in 2017 are that we will see huge and disproportionate costs to businesses handling plastic packaging over the next few years as we fall short.

“It will also create a huge incentive for fraudulent activity generating evidence of plastic reprocessing. Ultimately, it could undermine all the positive work our industry has achieved over the last 15 years by once again appearing to the general public as if plastic packaging is a problem, rather than part of the solution.”