The trade body representing the packaging and film sectors in the UK has added its criticism of the government's proposed targets for plastic recycling, labelling them “unachievable”.
Echoing the British Plastics Federation's damning assessment of the government's goal of 57% of all plastics being recycled by 2017, Barry Turner, chief executive of the Packaging and Films Association (Pafa) said that after all the industry's co-operation in trying to create the right conditions for increased recovery and recycling of plastics packaging it was a “disappointment” to see the advice of various interested parties, including the government's own advisory panel, ignored.
In a scathing comment, Turner said: “The preferred proposal by government is unachievable in the timescale set out as it represents a doubling of the rate of improvement that is achievable and represents the worse sort of gold plating of European legislation that I have seen yet.
"The proposal is poorly researched and the costs to industry significantly understated and if implemented will destroy jobs instead of creating them,” he added.
Turner argued that the government was “failing to understand that the right infrastructure and quality are fundamental to a sound recycling system. It is also disappointing to see the government continue to fail to recognise that resource efficiency should be paramount and that recycling only plays a part in this”.
He said his organisation was calling on the government “to reconsider and seek to avoid job losses and unreasonable costs that will further add to the pressure on UK manufacturers”.
While the government is proposing a target of 57% of plastics be recycled by 2017 in its consultation paper on the subject, the plastics sector wants what it regards as a more realistic and achievable figure of around the mid-30 percent mark.