Packaging manufacturers to pay recycling costs

Currently, councils pay 90 per cent of the bill for recycling, but – under the new strategy – this will be passed on to the product manufacturers, forcing them to think about sustainable packaging.

The measures could raise between £500 million and £1 billion per year to aid recycling and the disposal of rubbish.

The plans also include a commitment to weekly food-waste collections in every home, a deposit-return scheme and clearer labelling on packaging to show if it can be recycled.

The LGA is pleased that the burden of recycling costs has been transferred from councils to manufacturers, but has urged that any changes be fully funded. It has also warned that existing contracts between local authorities and waste collection companies mean some may not be able to implement the changes until later.

Consultations on elements of the strategy, including a core set of dry recyclables and free garden waste collections, will be published in January. The LGA will be engaging with councils and responding where appropriate. It is encouraging councils to submit their own consultation responses and to send these to the LGA for information, by emailing sonika.sidhu@local.gov.uk.

Cllr Martin Tett, the LGA’s Environment Spokesman, said: “The LGA has long called for businesses and manufacturers to pay the full cost of recycling or disposing of their packaging, and we are pleased the Government has listened to us.

“Councils have been successful in increasing recycling levels and, alongside government, recognise that even more needs to be done to boost recycling to reach national targets and even higher standards.

“It is crucial that any new system is phased in over time and still allows councils to determine how their local services work for residents, and takes account of the differences between inner-city and rural areas.”

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