UK Budget 2012 sets higher packaging targets


March 2012

On 21 March 2012, Chancellor George Osborneā€™s Budget established higher UK packaging recycling targets for 2013-17, taking them further above EU mandatory levels.

The new targets are intended to reduce the demand on raw material and make more recyclable material available to companies.

Later in 2012, the Government will legislate for increased statutory packaging recycling targets from 2013 to 2017, starting from the existing level in 2012 and increasing on 1 January each year. The targets are as follows:

  • Steel recycling to increase by 1% per year from 71% in 2012 to 76% in 2017.
  • Aluminium recycling to increase by 3% per year from 40% in 2012 to 55% in 2017.
  • Plastic recycling to increase by 5% per year from 32% in 2012 to 57% in 2017.
  • Paper recycling to remain at 69.5% and wood to remain at 22%.
  • The overall packaging recovery rate is to rise from 74% in 2012 to 79% in 2017, while overall packaging recycling will grow from 68% to 73% over that period.

The glass target will be split into sub-categories by end use. Additional recycling is to be met by re-melting glass rather than simply using it as an aggregate in the construction industry. The proportion and total tonnage of glass going for re-melt should increase somewhat each year towards 2017.

The targets are to be met in accordance with the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007.

thinkstep's outsourced Packaging Compliance Services will ensure that companies can implement robust and legally compliant packaging reporting, take-back and recovery arrangements in the UK and all other EU Member States. In addition, thinkstep's Packaging Update Service will keep companies informed of changes in UK Packaging Regulations and how these changes will impact Packaging producers in the UK.