PRESS RELEASE

16/9/2013

Higher recycling targets don’t allow for ‘leakage’

INCPEN response to consultation on Review of EU waste management targets

"There is inevitable ‘leakage’ from the recycling process.  Not all households are provided with collection facilities; those that are may not use them; those that do may not contribute all their recyclables; and some of the weight of collected material will not be recyclable because it is contamination and moisture”, says Director Jane Bickerstaffe in INCPEN’s response to the Consultation on the Review of EU waste management targets.

"If 95% of households have collection facilities, 95% of those households use them and contribute 90% of their recyclables, and there is only 10% contamination, then the maximum amount of material that can be recycled is 73% (90% of 90% of 90% of 95%).  This is a best case scenario and such high participation is seldom achieved.

In 2006, the Commission concluded that the targets in the Packaging Directive were at a sensible level from an environmental and an economic point of view.   If higher targets are to be proposed then there needs to be evidence that this has changed.  

INCPEN also expresses major concern about the suggestion of setting targets for waste prevention of packaging. "Setting a target for waste prevention of packaging completely misses the point that packaging is vital to achieve waste prevention”, says INCPEN.
Manufacturers and retailers use packaging to prevent waste of their products. 

See INCPEN’s full response on link

Ends

INCPEN
The Industry Council for research on Packaging & the Environment - was set up in 1974 to study the environmental and social impacts of packaging. It draws together an influential group of companies that operate throughout the supply chain and share a common interest in packaging, the environment and sustainable development.
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