Cambrian Packaging has welcomed calls to refine Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) obligations instead of a proposed tax on plastic packaging.
In a recent article in British Plastics and Rubber magazine, Philip Law, director general of the British Plastics Federation, echoed Cambrian’s call for significant investment in recycling infrastructure.
He said: “It is clear that in the UK there is a need for huge investment in our recycling infrastructure to reduce our dependence on exports. A tax, however, only guarantees money for the Treasury.”
He argued that instead of introducing a tax on packaging that does not have 30% recycled content, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) obligations could achieve more and guarantee money was invested in improving recycling infrastructure.
Cambrian said: “Mr Law is quite right to point out that investment in the UK recycling sector is a much better way to develop the UK sector for all round advantage. Imposing a tax as a measure to prevent an undesirable outcome is understood, but we need action and that requires investment.”
Mr Law actually said that in order to avoid paying the tax, some companies may have to use more plastics. This could be for technical reasons in terms of strength or tensile properties for food safety – resulting in more plastic waste.
Refining Extended Producer Responsibility
Without the tax hanging over the heads of manufactures, research by Ernst and Young showed that 85% of packaging companies planned to increase the recycled content in their packaging. It was estimated 50% of companies would reach the 30% target anyway – with the tax this would be 62%.