The British Plastics Federation's recycling group has proposed that the producer responsibility system governing packaging recycling should be increasingly weighted in favor of U.K. recycling.
In its recent publication, Proposal to Amend the PRN/PERN System for Plastics, the group has illustrated how the implementation of the packaging regulations has created a focus on quantity rather than quality which has resulted in the U.K. becoming increasingly dependent on export markets for its plastic waste.
The BPF's recyclers argue that the disadvantages which UK reprocessors face under the current system not only undermine the government's goal of increased resource efficiency but are also a barrier to creating new employment and wealth generation opportunities in the industry.
Recycling group chairman Roger Baynham said: "Our aim is to help create a quality driven waste infrastructure which would place the plastics recycling sector in the vanguard of the U.K.'s emerging low carbon manufacturing revolution and in so doing future proof markets for plastic waste."
The recycling group is proposing to Government that in the case of plastics, the producer responsibility system be modified through the creation of separate targets for post consumer plastics that are converted into products through UK reprocessing and exports of unprocessed waste.
Obligated businesses, through their compliance schemes, would be required to obtain a steadily increasing percentage of their evidence from UK reprocessed tonnage. The Group is proposing a 'road map' with an equal 50/50 split between the two routes in 2013 progressing to a 70% target for UK reprocessed tonnage and 30% unprocessed export tonnage by the year 2017.
"Our proposal purposely does not undermine the competitive principles of the existing system and we are delighted that BPF and in particular its packaging group have endorsed this proposal to improve the efficiency of the plastics recycling chain," explained Baynham.
"Critically such a strategy would drive investment and help the U.K. plastic recycling sector to develop knowledge and technologies which can be exported round the world."
Plastics & Rubber Weekly is a sister publication of Waste & Recycling News.