UK Government Cuts Back On Its Recycling Targets

A freedom of information request made by Greenpeace revealed that the United Kingdom has reduced its recycling targets last year after a successful lobby from the plastics industry. The targets for plastic recycling went down from 57% to 49% in 2016 to be increased every year by 2% until 2020 to finally reach 57% by 2020.

According to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) the decision was made to lessen the burden on business; however, Greenpeace found out that it was not small business that pressured the government but the British Plastics Federation, the leading trade association for the plastic industry.

The reduction in recycling targets has resulted into thousands of tonnes of plastics being dumped in landfills or incinerated. Environmental organizations said that many companies were concerned that the high targets will force them to stop using plastics that are difficult to recycle or increase the amount of recycled plastics in products.

Ariana Densham, an ocean campaigner for Greenpeace UK is not surprised by the results of investigations because it has been exposed recently that big companies like Coca Cola are lobbying against the bottle deposit return plans and enhanced recycling rates. Consumers are being blamed for the environmental impact of plastics on land and sea but companies who are profiting from throwaway plastics are abdicating on their responsibility towards the end life of their products.

In a statement sent to The Independent, Francisco Morcillo, BPF head of public and industrial affairs, said that rates for plastic packaging recycling has exponentially grown over the last few years from virtually zero to 45% in just a decade. Last year, there was a 14% increase in plastic recycling which is considered a remarkable achievement. However, even if recyclers want to increase plastic recycling, they need the right infrastructure and consistent collection systems for household waste.

Size reduction technology can be effectively applied through the use of plastic drum shredder. The shredder can reduce the volume of plastic materials which will be introduced to the granulator for further processing. The plastic shredders are designed for the most demanding and high throughput in the recycling industry.