Thursday, 11 June 2009

War on Waste - Hilary Benn changes packaging rules

Articles in the national press today are showing that we are getting a step in the right direction regarding excess waste and packaging.

It will be amazing for the UK as a whole if this actually comes to fruision, as we have far too much waste packaging.

Launching the new strategy at the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management Futuresource conference today, Mr Benn said:

“We need to rethink the way we deal with packaging, from production line to recycling bin. The plans we’ve announced today set out how we will achieve that – with the goal of making it as easy as possible for consumers to avoid needless packaging in the first place and to get rid of what they do receive in a way that doesn’t just create more landfill. I also want consumers to play their part by reporting excess packaging wherever they see it – because we’re all in this together.

“In a few years time I want people to be able to shop without having to worry about what they’re going to do with the packaging when they get home, and where it will go after they’ve disposed of it.”

DEFRA have also made some comments on this.

(I have borrowed this from MZW as Mrs Green beat me to this)

Here’s the latest from DEFRA:
“Consumers will see a major overhaul of all packaging over the next decade, under plans announced by Environment Secretary Hilary Benn today.

The Government’s new packaging strategy, Making the most of packaging, looks at the packaging of the future and what our shop shelves and kitchen cupboards should look like if we cut the amount of packaging produced, used and thrown away, and increase the amount recycled.

Under the plans published today, the whole chain from production to disposal of packaging will be tackled:

Enforcement action will be made easier against manufacturers of excess and unnecessary packaging, and consumers will be encouraged to continue to report excessive packaging to Trading Standards;

The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) will work with manufacturers and retailers to reduce packaging for everyday products in line with the best on the market;

The recyclability of packaging will be improved and clear guidance will be provided for manufacturers on designing it with recyclability in mind;

The use of refillable and reusable packaging could be expanded, so in the future customers could have the option of buying anything from laundry detergent to coffee by simply taking empty containers back to shops to be refilled;

The Government will work with local authorities and packaging producers to improve household recycling services, so that in future more types of packaging are collected for recycling;

Recycling rates for plastic, glass, and aluminium will be targeted for improvement. This will mean more ‘recycling on the go’ points introduced in public places for drinks cans, and more glass collected for recycling from pubs, clubs and restaurants; and

Banning of some materials, such as aluminium and glass, from landfill altogether is also being considered.

Add to this that Mr Benn has also indicated that Best Before and Use By dates will also be removed/changed and one catch all date will be used instead which gives consumers a clearer idea of when something will be past is useful date and may infact be harmful if eaten..

1 comment:

  1. This is a great thing to see. I hope that they make good progress with it. Even worse, though, than the stuff we bring home from the grocery stores, is the way they package toys. Such excess and so needless. When I was a kid the toy came in a cardboard box - now the same type of toy comes in a box, wrapped in hard plastic for viewing through cutouts, tied in with wire, that's secured through more plastic. Just nuts!