RecoupStuart Foster, Recoup CEO; Lord de Mauley, Resource Minister for Defra; and representatives from the Plastic Matters initiative founding signatories at the plastics recycling conference.
In his keynote speech at the Recoup Plastic Recycling Conference and AGM, Lord de Mauley announced that Defra would be adding its support and financial backing to Recoup’s new ‘Plastic Matters’ initiative, and that it would be “a significant step to help reduce waste, achieve the ambitious plastic packaging recycling targets to 2017, and keep valuable plastic resources from ending up in landfill.”
The initiative, launched earlier in the day by Recoup CEO, Stuart Foster, will develop plastic recycling communications tools and guidance to provide support to local authorities to increase the collection of plastic packaging for recycling, and deliver more consistency of information. By providing clear messages and minimising confusion, Recoup says it hopes the initiative will help consumers to take the right actions and ultimately lead to more plastic being recycled.
Together with Defra, the founding signatories of this initiative include Marks & Spencer, Kent Resource Partnership, Unilever, WRAP, Coca Cola Enterprises, Nestle Waters, RPC, Veolia, Closed Loop Recycling and Valpak. Both the Minister and Recoup called for more organisations to come forward and support the initiative.
“Understanding consumer behaviour is the key to changing consumer behaviour, and as such the first activity under the new initiative will be an in depth plastic recycling consumer insight study to build on existing knowledge. From this work, the steering group made up of the founding signatories will develop the consumer facing campaign and will aim to launch the consumer facing tools before the end of the year,” commented Foster at the event.
During the conference, Recoup launched two of their flagship documents, the ‘2013 UK Household Plastics Packaging Collection Survey’; and an updated version of ‘Recyclability By Design’ which will be free to download from its website from 11 October.
Other key points of the day included a debate over the exclusion of biodegradable bags from the recently announced carrier bag tax. The 5p per bag charge, which will only apply to supermarkets and larger stores, will begin after the 2015 election, with the proceeds going to charities.
Led by Bernard Chase of Regain Polymers, there was also discussion around the current lack of parity within the PRN system, and called for a review of the advantage that currently exists for export markets when compared to UK plastic reprocessors.