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Fundamental changes needed, warns ECO Plastics

Europe – Major European bottle recycler ECO Plastics has called on the UK government for reforms in order to meet EU recycling targets.

The company’s founder Jonathan Short has said the targets are likely to be missed because government cuts have led to ‘pull back from making urgently-needed policy reforms, just at the point when they are needed the most’.

According to ECO Plastics, progress towards the EU target of recycling 50% of household waste has slowed significantly, rising just 0.1% in the 12 months to June 2013 to reach 43.3%. At the same time, figures from WRAP – the government-funded body set up to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill – show that only 19% of the 600 million tonnes of total products and materials entering the UK economy each year are recycled, thus ‘creating a significant opportunity for higher recycling rates’.

According to Short, change is needed in order to maximise recycling capability in the UK and establish ‘a truly circular economy’. He argues: ‘If we are serious about hitting our recycling targets, we need fundamental changes to the regulatory system, a dedicated educational campaign for consumers and a mandate for manufacturers to use recycled products.’

Short believes the government should do more to make it easier for households to recycle by using the controversial plastic bag tax to fund a nationwide public awareness campaign.

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