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Recycling

Three quarters of UK businesses unaware of Plastic Packaging Tax

Research conducted by YouGov, on behalf of Veolia, explored the views of British-based senior decision makers across retail and manufacturing businesses on the incoming Plastic Packaging Tax.

The tax places a £200 per tonne levy on producers or importers of plastic packaging if they do not include 30% recycled content and will come into force from 1 April 2022.

The survey found that only a fifth (22%) of the manufacturing and retail businesses asked had already opted for recycled content in their packaging. To reach the UK’s Net Zero goals, far more businesses must reduce their reliance on virgin materials. The majority of British retail and manufacturing businesses also support an escalator in percentage of recycled content threshold (63%) and cost charge (50%) as an incentive to use recycled content.

The British retail and manufacturing businesses who had made changes to their plastic packaging reported:

  • Two thirds (66%) have reduced the amount of unnecessary or avoidable plastic packaging
  • Over half (58%) now use recycled content
  • 54% have changed the packaging design to make it more recyclable
  • 39% have chosen alternative materials to plastic for their packaging

“The UK’s Plastic Packaging Tax is the right way to start getting businesses to push sustainability up the agenda, but it needs to go further. A tax escalator would make choosing to incorporate recycled content in packaging both economically and environmentally preferable to using virgin materials,” said Gavin Graveson, Veolia’s Northern Europe Zone Senior EVP. “Not only could the UK save up to 2.89 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year if all plastic packaging included 30% recycled content, it would also incentivise investment in domestic infrastructure which could make the UK a world leader in plastics recycling.”

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: IPL Global’s EcoSort Recycling System

By IPL Global

The EcoSort Recycling System provides an aesthetic, flexible, functional, and easy to use solution for collecting recyclable materials in the workplace.

Our EcoSort range includes a 60-Litre Midi and a 70-Litre Maxi, both of which are completely interchangeable and come with a variety of lid options as well as a wide range of colour and graphical options. This versatility allows for the creation of a truly unique and uniquely customised recycling solution to fit any workplace environment.

In our current climate, minimising non-essential contact is critical. COVID-19 and other germs are distributed primarily by droplets produced by coughing, sneezing, talking, and exhaling. Those droplets can then land on nearby objects and can then transfer from surfaces onto your skin.

Therefore, ensuring minimal contact and general hygiene acts are important practice. The EcoSort’s boasts a number of non-touch lid options- making our recycling bin an excellent solution when it comes to not spreading germs.

Click here to learn more.

Competition is ‘beneficial to circular economy’, says study

Extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes – key elements of the circular economy – tend to perform better when there is competition between multiple producer responsibility organisations
That’s the conclusion of a new study conducted by think tank adelphi on behalf of European Recycling Platform. The study also provides recommendations on how to further strengthen the performanceof competitive EPR schemes.
The study finds that producer responsibility organisations operating in a competitive environment show astrong focus on driving innovation and improving the services offered to producers. They also tend to lead to higher customer satisfaction and ensure a cost- efficient implementation of waste management activities such as collection, sorting and recycling.
Monopolistic systems, on the other hand, tend to rely on effectivebut often costly innovation and have a higher risk of market power abuse if transparency is insufficient. These results hold for waste electrical and electronic equipment, batteries, and packaging.
In order to further strengthen the performance of competitive EPR schemes, the study suggests to ensurea level playing field between multiple producer responsibility organisations by establishing coordinationbodies independent of private interest. The main tasks of these mandatory bodies would be to coordinate and monitor the allocation of collection responsibilities, to manage joint activities such as awarenesscampaigns, and to function as an intermediary between PROs and other stakeholders such as localauthorities. The study also recommends working towards an EU-wide harmonisation of the criteria for theeco-modulation of EPR fees.
The report “Analysis of Extended Producer Responsibility Schemes” was conducted by adelphi in June 2021 and reviewed by independent scientific reviewers. It assesses the performance of different EPR schemes in Europe using six selected case studies under consideration of nine environmental, economic,and technical key performance indicators, such as collection and recycling rates, costs for producers, or stakeholder satisfaction.
Jan Patrick Schulz, CEO of Landbell Group, said: “Extended producer responsibility has proven over the last years to be a very effective means to tackleone of society’s most pressing issues: the growing amount of waste. As the new study suggests, thisinstrument is particularly powerful and cost-efficient when there is competition between multiple actors. In order to accelerate the transition towards circularity, we need to remove barriers for competition and avoid aconcentration of market power at all stages of waste management. Landbell Group has implemented competitive extended producer responsibility throughout Europe for over 20 years and is committed to maintain this role for the journey ahead.”
Square-Mile-Challenge

UK’s biggest ever coffee cup recycling scheme launched in the City of London

Over 100 high street coffee retailers and organisations including Lloyd’s, Prudential, The Barbican Centre and London Metropolitan University are offering recycling facilities as part of the City of London’s Square Mile Challenge, in a scheme that aims to recycle five million disposable coffee cups by the end of 2017.

The organisers – environmental charity Hubbub and recycling company Simply Cups – claim the initiative will be the UK’s biggest ever coffee cup recycling scheme, with bright yellow bins in the shape of coffee cups placed on streets across the City, and cups collected from commuters at both Liverpool Street and Cannon Street stations during rush hour every week day throughout April to kick things off.

Here are the numbers: 2.5 billion paper coffee cups are used each year, with seven million of those thrown away across the UK on a daily basis. Only 1% of these cups are recycled, partly down to the plastic film inside preventing it being included with other mixed recycling.

The initiative will process the cups to create a plastic or recovered fibre material which will be made into new products, of which some will be donated to a cafe and outdoor community space due to open in the City sometime in 2018.

Shirley Rodrigues, London’s deputy mayor for environment and energy, said: “Until now there has been no consistent, reliable way to recycle coffee cups in the heart of London and so the Square Mile Challenge is a big step forward.”

Gavin Ellis, Co-founder of Hubbub, added: “We are delighted that so many organisations, including the local authority, Network Rail and businesses that are usually in competition with each other, are collaborating to tackle this issue.  We hope that other parts of the UK will follow suit and eventually reach a point where recycling levels for coffee cups are on a par with those for drinks cans and bottles.”

www.squaremilechallenge.co.uk