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MPs agree increased plastics recycling targets

By Anthony Clark
Posted 29 November 2012

MPs have agreed the Draft Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 which now look certain to come into force in January.

Despite the intervention of Mark Pawsey MP, who expressed the concerns of both the British Plastics Federation (BPF) and Pafa, increased recycling targets for plastics were accepted.

“There has been insufficient engagement between Defra officials and the [plastics] industry [which] believes that the targets set out in the regulations are too high,” said Pawsey. “The industry has real concerns about the consequences for UK employment when – and the industry does not believe it is a question of if – it fails to meet the target.”

He pointed out that the UK plastics industry employs 70,000 people so any damage could have a serious effect on jobs. Defra should therefore be prepared to conduct a review of the targets at the earliest possible date, he added.

Environment Minister Richard Benyon replied: “I understand my honourable friend’s concerns. As my noble Friend did in the other place, I assure him that we will continue to have discussions about the matter.

“In reaching its decision on the plastics target that was announced in the Budget in March, the Government has balanced the views of all interested parties.”

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