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SCOTLAND: New targets for packaging waste

January 1, 2004 12:00 AM

New targets to stem the growth of packaging waste in Scotland come into effect today and will mean that companies who manufacture or use packaging materials will have to recover or recycle 70 per cent by 2008.

Environment Minister Ross Finnie said:

"Excessive packaging is both environmentally irresponsible and economically inefficient. Packaging waste, which can be anything from a drinks can to an oil drum, forms a large part of domestic, commercial and industrial waste.

"The Scottish Executive is determined to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. To achieve this we need individuals and organisations across Scotland to reduce the amount of waste they produce, re-use waste whenever possible and recycle it if not.

"These targets mean businesses which manufacture or use packaging waste will have to recover or recycle progressively higher amount of packaging waste. By 2008 we aim to have increased our overall recovery rates by almost a fifth. Across the UK that will mean an additional 1m tonnes plus of waste packaging being put to use - waste that would otherwise be lost to landfill."

Overall recovery targets are 63 per cent for 2004, 65 per cent for 2005, 67 per cent for 2006. 69 per cent for 2007 and 70 per cent for 2008. The minimum amount of recovery to be achieved through recycling is 94 per cent in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and 95 per cent in 2006 and 2007.

The new targets are part of a wider review of the Packaging Recovery Scheme, whereby businesses must take responsibility for packaging waste proportionate to the packaging they make or use.

The targets were set following consultation with industry in summer 2003 and in light of the latest estimates for recycling and recovery in 2003 for the UK. These are 5.30m tonnes recovery, of which about 4.74m tonnes will be recovered through recycling. The UK projections for 2008 are 6.34m tonnes recovery, of which 6.02m tonnes will be recycled.

The other changes to the scheme will ensure it works more efficiently and to spread the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency's costs in operating it more equitably between the businesses which generate the cost.