Packaging Recycling Improves

The government is putting new targets into place in order to meet EC Directives on Packaging Recyling for 2008 and 2009. The targets set beyond 2008 are up to member states to set, although they must at least meet previous minimums. The UK government has stated that it aims to continue improving the levels already reached. Packaging recycling has improved from 27% in 1997 to over 57% in 2006, an achievement with huge environmental benefits. The EC sets two targets for 2008 for both recyling and recovery. The recyling target is 55% although the UK target is higher at 55.7%. The government wants to improve this figure to 58.4% by 2010. They see these higher targets as incentives to design out unnecessary packaging in the future, saving manufacturing resources and creating less rubbish for disposal.

A secondary benefit is that lower CO2 emissions are achieved from easier recycling and also lower landfill requirements. More specifically the Government also has targets for Glass recycling which rises from 78.5% in 2008 to 84% by 2012. For paper the equivalent targets are 67.5% rising to 71.5%. Our recycling of wood remains relatively poor, with targets in 2008 of only 20.5%. Much of this wood waste arises from builders waste and commonly finds itself in builders skips, with very little of it recycled.

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