Businesses recycling more packaging

Recycling rates for packaging waste produced by businesses rose five per cent last year to a record 64%, well above its EU target of 55%.

According to figures published by Defra today, businesses in the UK helped recover seven million tones of packaging waste last year, of which 6.6 million tones was recycled.

A Defra spokesman told edie that while individual companies might have different reasons for improving their performance, obligations on the producers of waste to contribute towards the costs of its recovery had obviously been a driver.

Environment Minister Jane Kennedy said: “This is a really significant achievement and shows that we are making good progress on packaging recycling. Businesses which handle packaging have a vital role to play in reducing the amount of waste we’re sending to landfill and I’m pleased to see they’re doing their bit.”

Environment Agency Chief Executive Dr Paul Leinster said: “The level of carbon saving – equivalent to the amount of CO2 generated by around one-and-a-half million UK homes each year – shows why it’s important for all of us to keep on recycling.

“Last year was the best year yet for the amount of packaging waste recycled. Everyone – the public, local authorities and businesses – should be proud of what has been achieved and spurred on to do even more.

“We’ll continue to help businesses meet their obligations and take tough action against those avoiding their responsibilities.”

The EU sets targets for recycling rates for other materials and the UK met or exceeded these in 2008.

  • Paper: 79.8 per cent recycled (target 60 per cent)
  • Glass: 61.3 per cent recycled (target 60 per cent)
  • Metal: 56.9 per cent recycled (target 50 per cent)
  • Plastic: 23.7 per cent recycled (target 22.5 per cent)
  • Wood: 78.5 per cent recycled (target 15 per cent)
  • Sam Bond

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