The UK Government's Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP) has finalised its report and both plastics and the PRN system get a special mention.
“It was a year of substantial input from many organisations as well as committee members,” said ACP chairman Bob Lisney. “Over the year the committee established four task groups covering market development, legislation, the sustainable supply chain and plastics.
“As a result, the report is well informed with evidence on future trends for packaging as well as the challenges in meeting new targets.”
The collection of plastics is a challenge because of the complexity of the range of products used, concluded the committee. As a result, the ACP considered the material in three core areas; bottles, rigid containers and films.
“Each has different issues in collection, sorting and markets to be resolved and we know that there is increasing public demand for more to be recycled as well as higher targets to be met by 2017,” explained Lisney.
According to the ACP, the plastics industry has been very positive about the challenge and its report provides a route map for bottles and rigids and recommends that more work is undertaken this year by an industry-led films group so that the ACP can be informed of the optimum routes for this material and the practicalities of collection.
Another key area for study was the burden of legislation and the structure of the PRN system.
“The legislation group has looked at ways of reducing the burden on industry, especially small businesses, and also at how to ensure that the obligations can be made more inclusive,” said Lisney. “It has also suggested that the PRN/PERN system be reviewed as there is evidence that there are differences that disadvantage UK based reprocessors.”
The committee has developed a work plan for the next 12 months, which is included in the report and which will contribute to the review of Producer Responsibility processes.
(See Hamish Champ's blog.)