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Government plans to turn the tide on pollution

In a bid to tackle Britain’s waste, businesses will have to pay to recycle their waste as part of a scheme set out by the Government today (December 18th).

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Businesses will play a more vital part in paying for the costs of recycling

The report, titled Our waste, our resources: a strategy for England, outlines a new scheme that will see large corporations take more responsibility for the amount of waste the country produces. By minimising waste and promoting resource efficiency, the plans hope to move England towards a more circular and sustainable economy.

As the print and sign industries battle with the rising costs of raw materials, the issue of sourcing these materials is one that businesses are already trying to mitigate. The report sets out targets for businesses to support them in improving the productivity of finite resources.

The report states: “A number of our initiatives will give businesses the confidence to invest more in resource-efficient technology and infrastructure, helping them to understand and mitigate risks in raw material supply chains and rewarding them for good product design.”

A number of our initiatives will give businesses the confidence to invest more in resource-efficient technology and infrastructure

To support sustainable production and stop waste products entering the environment in the first place, the Government will invoke the ‘polluter pays’ principle, which will see manufacturers paying the full costs of disposal for packaging they are putting out.

Producers can expect to pay a higher premium if the product is difficult to reuse or recycle. With the current system, less than a tenth of the costs of managing household packaging waste is covered by producers.

The scheme also outlines plans to make it easier for the consumer to identify sustainable packaging through mandatory labelling on packaging that outlines clearly the environmental impacts of a particular product.

The tax on plastics will see producers charged for utilising plastic packaging if less than 30% of the plastic used has been recycled. The strategy is prioritising preventing plastic from entering the environment in the first place and is aiming to eliminate avoidable plastic over the lifetime of the 25-Year Environment Plan, which was set out in April 2018. 

The report also alludes to introducing a potential bottle deposit scheme, similar to that already in operation in other European countries, but none of the plans outlined are set to come into force until 2023, which has been met harshly by environmental campaigners. 

If you have a news story, email summer@linkpublishing.co.uk or follow us on Twitter to have your say.

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